A great big hello to one and all and welcome along to the latest update from yours truly and all the team here at Dràm Mòr Group Ltd. Lots to get through this month so here goes nothing…First up is one subject that I have been keen to talk about for sometime now but due to the rather delicate matter of the issue I have had to tip toe around the subject. As many of you will know, we have been caught up in a legal battle with another Scotch whisky company for well over a year involving our trademark and the name Dràm Mòr, which although approved by the IP office, when we applied for it, came onto their radar and as they shared a common word with our name they applied to have our trademark cancelled. This has dragged on and on and cost us a good bit of hard earned cash to defend ourselves against a much larger and longer established company. Last month we moved to the end game, where our case was heard at a tribunal and although we knew that we had been successful following the return of the tribunal result we had to keep our powder dry until the 24th of August, which was the deadline for the other party to lodge an appeal. I am delighted to report that no such appeal was forthcoming, so that is that once and for all. We were, we are and we always will be Dràm Mòr.
Over this prolonged fight we have received fantastic support from everyone of you and some very kindly donated to our fighting fund, which I had opened up on a Go Fund Me page. This was basically done as it was the only way of letting people know what was being done to us and now that we have our victory I can start getting in touch with each and everyone of our generous supporters who left their names to thank them. There are many of you unfortunately who came through as anonymous, so I can’t thank you the way I would like or that you deserve, but from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support. So now that we can move on we need to see what to do with the money that was so kindly donated and we have decided that we want to bottle a cask especially to mark this milestone for us. Each person who donated (and that I can track) will be able to receive a bottle with our thanks and the remaining bottles we are planning to auction off to raise money for a local charity. This way we say thanks in the right way and don’t financially benefit ourselves, which we think is the right thing to do. I would like to end this wee bit by thanking the other sides legal team who now diligently read my updates in the vain hope of trolling some dirt that can be used against us (we have had the threats sent to our legal team so we know your reading this) so thanks for being on board and I am sure there will be another complaint coming in shortly for what I am writing just now. Looking forward to their next hissy fit.
When the world still turned normally we were able to get a delivery from the warehouse just outside Glasgow to Belgium in two and a half days. Then there came the stupidity that is Brexit! Well the dispatch to Jürgen at the Whisky Mercenary, our Belgium distributor, left Scotland in the middle of June and arrived last week. That’s ten and a half weeks to get across 615 miles and according to my phone’s SatNav it is a drive of 10 hours and 59 minutes. Even if I ask SatNav, how long it would take me to walk this distance I am there in eight days! We can only say sorry to all our loyal fans in these countries who have watched on while people from Germany to Singapore enjoy a dram or two of our new whiskies while they went without. I am so happy to see that finally our stock has arrived and I hope that we will be able to get across to see some of you pretty soon to enjoy a dram our two together.
Slowly but steadily we are starting to seed our whiskies in some of our local hostelries, so if you are in or around Glasgow you can now enjoy a Dràm Mòr dram in such well known establishments as the Pot Still where our good friend Mr. Frank Murphy kindly opened the door to us and now has both 20 year old Dumbarton single grain and our delicious Ben Nevis 8 year old finished in a stunning White Port cask.
A wee stretch of the legs heading to the West End and you can find yourself in the old church building that is now an important part of the West Ends social life, Orán Mòr. Many thanks to Andy Robertson for taking in our drams and you can now sample our Macduff 13 year old, the White Port Ben Nevis and our “secret Orkney” (whatever that may be?) finished in Fijian rum. On off-trade our friends at the Good Spirits Co. received a good deal more than they have had previously but as we have seen in the past the shelves don’t stay full very long and as I write we are back to the sold out sign being hung up. When added to the Aladdin’s cave of whisky that is the Artisan and the wonderful Highlander Inn in Craigellachie we are (very slowly) gaining a bit of ground on the home front. We have just finished re-racking over 30 casks, so we are gearing up for a UK exclusive for next spring. We really appreciate the patience being shown by our home based friends but just a little longer and we are there folks.
Last month the good folk at Whisky Fun were at it again having a wee look at not one but two of our releases with a retro throwback look at one from last Christmas as they looked at a collection of Linkwoods with our ten year old featuring well amongst a field of pretty heavy hitters. Second up was a look at one that is more recent and depending where about you are in the world, one that is still readily available and that was the Dalmunach 5 year old. A baby of a dram you my think but this wee cracker has everything you would want out of a dram three times it’s age. We all owe a massive thank you to the men and women who make this incredibly good spirit and it is one that we will most definitely be revisiting in the future. Not only did the Dalmunach appear on the Whisky Fun review but our great friend Justine Hazelhurst of Kask in Auld Reekie also featured this bottling. It seems to have ticked all the boxes and found a whole new group of fans so let’s hope that this spirit continues to be available although noticeably there is much less on the market than there used to be. Just as we we stocked up early doors!
A few months ago we took the decision to commission a set of professional pictures of the original Dràm Mòr team for posterity before we grow anymore. It also gives the good folk of the whisky world a chance to see the motley crew that they are working with. Now, you know you are dealing with someone who is an expert in their field when she can actually pass me off looking non too terrible in a photo so many many thanks to the wonderful Magdalena Kaminska of Atelier 2.5 Portrait Studio for a superb set of pictures which we will not only cherish but we can now use these to give the team the professional look that their hard work deserves (well Viktorija and Ruaraidh anyway). If anyone in or around Glasgow is ever looking for a fantastic photographer then I cannot recommend Magdalena highly enough.
On to the web surfers and some of the interesting places that a bottle or two of Dràm Mòr have popped up of late. First, up is a massive (and I mean, massive) thanks to a wonderful couple, Bart and Wendy Ottevaere of the Ten Errewaerde restaurant in Heestert, who not only stopped off to say hello to Ruaraidh and I as they were en route to my beloved Isle of Lewis but for dropping off a ridiculously large bag of top quality Belgian beer in the process. I would like to thank them not only for the beer but for some wonderful picture of our Ben Nevis in some stunning locations around the island (very jealous of the Peat & Diesel gig, may I add!) I would also like to thank them for a full missing day that came curtsy of a sampling session of the aforementioned beer. I managed to burn all of my Brownie points that day! On the mention of Belgian beer its over to master brewer Mr. David Rodgier who I have mentioned in the past due to the collaboration we have had with the marriage of his excellent brews and our spent whisky casks. When looking into the bottles delivered by Mr Ottevaere I find to my delight that I have finally managed to get my hands on one (or more) of these bottles and I can happily report that it has been well worth the wait. Some incredible beer so a great big thanks to David and I very much look forward to seeing what is to come in the future. Next up, I want to say hello and thank you to two of our favourite boutique whisky shops who have been sharing the love of all things Dràm Mòr. Germany being one of the first countries to come into receipt of our last outturn now being distributed through Kirsch Import is now supplying a favourite outlet of ours at Westwood Whisky. Thanks to Paul and Olaf for posting the new stock and I hope by the time I am writing this you have very little left!
So, a pretty busy month all things told but we wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s some more exciting news to tell you about next month as Dràm Mòr Group grows, but I will leave this as the cliffhanger for next month. I need to give you a reason to come back after all. Until then, as always, from Viktorija, Ruaraidh and my good self, we once again thank you all for your continued support and for helping us spread the message that we are trying to get out there. You are all wonderful folk without whom we would still be at square one so you have our gratitude today and always. Until the next time everybody stay safe, be kind to each other and share a dram now and again.