Hello to one and all and welcome to our latest update! How the hell did this come around so quickly again. Well, they do say that time flies when you’re having fun, so apparently I am having a hoot! Now this update comes pretty much hot on the heels of the May update and please accept my apologies for getting that out so late in the month but its been a busy wee spell for us here at Dràm Mòr Group Ltd., so there’s plenty to tell in this one.
First up and it’s release number 4, which is now with a good few of our distributors although there are a few pick ups still to be made so if it’s not on the shelf where you would normally see us, don’t worry. It’s on its way. So what exactly do we have for you in this outturn? Well, for a start this has been our biggest release to date with 8 casks being bottled (well 7 and a half as one is only a blood tub). Not only that, but we have our oldest release to date as well as our first single grain whisky coming your way, so that’s where I will start. I am delighted that we have released a 20 year old Dumbarton single grain from the now lost Leven Distillery in my home town of Dumbarton. This is a distillate that is very close to my heart what with the fact that my Grandfather Alex Macdonald worked as head foreman in there for many years prior to retiring back to the Hebrides and the sleepy wee village of Aird Uig. This particular cask is coming to you at 52% and having sat for over 20 years in a refill ex bourbon hogshead the smooth subtlety of the oak works beautifully with the sweet delicate nature of the spirit. If you’re not a big single grain fan now, you will be after trying this.
Next up we go from the sublime to the ridiculous as we go to the baby of the batch and a 5 year old Dalmunach. Now for the vast majority of you out there Dalmunach will be a new and keenly awaited single malt hailing from the former site of the old Imperial distillery. I can tell you that this is a very different spirit and even at the tender age of 5 years old it proves the the old saying “if its good enough, it’s old enough”. This is a stunningly good young spirit sitting comfortably at 57% and having spent the last year in a first fill ex Buffalo Trace cask it is a delight. It very possibly will be your first Dalmunach as it is ours, but I can promise for all of us it won’t be our last.
Our next two casks are two beautiful Ben Nevis expressions. The first is a 9 year old with a short finish of 4 months in Palo Cortado sherry and weighing in at 53% and this will be available I’m all of our main markets. The second will be slightly harder to find as this was bottled mainly for our distributor in Singapore, the wonderful Spirit Castle who were celebrating their third birthday and wanted something a wee bit special to toast their ever growing business anniversary. This one has been once again short finished for 4 months in white port and also at 53% is a wee beauty. This will also be available in limited amounts in Germany, Canada and Israel with a very limited amount going to my friends in Belgium and Holland. If you aren’t lucky enough to land one of these don’t worry. There will be more one the way!.
We stay in the Highlands for the next two cask and our first “secret” distillery. When I say secret, it’s a secret Orkney, so that narrows the field down just a wee bit. I was going to call it “Not Scapa”, but decided against the idea for fear of upsetting people that I really don’t want to upset. Two different offerings here although they both originate from the one hogshead. Let me explain…Our first Orkadian was originally intended as a festival bottling for The Village in the wonderful city of Nuremberg; however, with festivals still looking like being a wee bit in the distance yet we took the decision the spread the love and pop this one out on general release. It was finished for 6 months in a first fill ex Fijian rum barrel coming in at 54.6%, which has giving us a delicious lightly tropical Orkney that I find extremely difficult to leave alone. The problem as most of you will know is that a hogshead simply doesn’t fit into a barrel so we had a wee bit left over. What to do? What to do? I know what….. how about a Madeira blood tub! For those of you unfamiliar with the noble blood tub this is the smallest cask we can use when maturing Scotch whisky holding only 40 litres. Now we didn’t have 40 litre left, in fact only about half of that but if your fast and your in Belgium or Netherlands then your in with a chance as our great friend and distributor Jürgen Vromans has got the lot but like I said, be quick as this won’t be around for very long at all.
Last but one and we have a delectable 13 year old Macduff with a first fill ex bourbon finish sitting at 53.5% and this just melts in the mouth. I have to admit to being a little sceptical when we set out on our plans for this cask as I have never been a massive Glen Deveron fan (the official bottling name of Macduff distillery); however, this has surpassed expectations and I have no hesitation in putting the Dràm Mòr name to this spirit. Ok, last up on our marathon of bottles we have our first step back into full peated spirit since our first release way back in the winter of 2019 when we brought a 6 year old Caol Ila to your door. Getting our hands on great quality peated spirit has proven very difficult over the last year but having a wee bit of knowledge with respect to the quality that comes out of Loch Lomond Distillery I kept a close eye on any Inchfad or Croftenga coming onto the market and our diligence paid off as we can proudly present our 14 year old Inchfad finished in sweet, sticky first fill PX. I have been on and off with peated expressions over the last few years but this is a dram that we are all incredibly proud of here at Dràm Mòr and we keenly await your reviews of this belter of a dram. So as far as the spring 2021 release goes…it’s over to you. Have fun!
Tastings last month were a bit thin on the ground however now that the new drams are out there I have a feeling that this is the calm before the storm. The one that we did have was with a couple of lads who have also put their shoulder to the Dràm Mòr machine since the beginning and have had to suffer a good few samples of ours over the last 18 months. Steve Tan of @ajourneywithmypalate and Andrew Burleigh of @Scotchsavvy were kind enough to invite us to join them in there on line instagram live Whisky Chats where we had a lovely afternoon nosing and tasting our way through Ben Nevis Palo Cortado, Macduff and Inchfad. I can’t think of a better way to waste a Sunday afternoon than a wee bit of dramming with friends even if it is only on line. You can catch this wee chat on the link here.
To wind up this rather extended edition of our whisky update we finish as always with a few thanks for some of the posts that we have seen over the last month from friends near and far as they enjoy a dram or two of our whiskies. From Germany Professormalt shared his love for one of our Christmas releases with a bit of shameless promotion of our Linkwood 10. Oh how I loved that bottling! Another good pal of ours Justine Hazelhurst of KASK dropped a nice wee snap of our Dumbarton 20 year old single grain which will feature in an up and coming single grain tasting that she will be running. Save me two places at least please Justine! A big thanks as always to Zerlina and Zicong in Singapore who posted their exclusive Ben Nevis birthday label. It’s always a pleasure working with these guys and as we have a tasting coming up soon I am already looking forward to another bit of work together. Back to our friend Mr Tan who, when not working with Andrew on Whisky Chats can be found once in a blue moon can be found up here in Scotland have a wee camping expedition and what could go better round a campfire than a cheeky wee Inchfad. Thinks for the post mate. Over to Belgium next and to sit back and enjoy the football our master brewer friend Mr David Rogiers (HBH with Deca Brewery) sat down to watch the genius that is the Belgian national team with a beer matured in our Aberlour cask. I could have been doing with that for watching Scotland David but more as an anaesthetic to be honest mate. Anything to numb the pain would be good!
Last word goes to the enigmatic Artisan Restaurant in Wishaw and Derek and Fiona Mather who have shown their support for Dràm Mòr from the very start. Well, we now have our very own shelf in the Laddie Snugg of The Artisan. This means we’ve made it in my books folks! Ok, enough for one month. As I bid you a fond farewell I wish you a happy and health July and as always from Viktorija, Ruaraidh and yours truly thank you from the bottom of our hearts for coming along with us on our incredibly exciting whisky journey. Be good and talk soon folks.