Well, it’s that time of the month once again, when I darken your door with with more of my thoughts on the month that was as I have a look back on what has been a very busy September.
The most exciting development for us in a good wee while is that we have now released our first ever bottles of single cask, cask strength rums with a cask coming from Clarendon Estate, one of Jamaica’s most respected distilleries, which now sits side by side with one of the rum worlds best known and most popular brands, Foursquare in Barbados. To say that this is a learning curve for us is putting it mildly, but with Ruaraidh working hard on the research side of things, we are quickly getting to grips with the complex world of rum distilling, helped along with the news that we managed to gain distinctions in our WSET Spirits Level 2 course. The popularity of these two lines has really taken our breath away. I delivered 10 cases to the Good Spirits Co. in Glasgow last Friday afternoon and by Saturday morning there was only 5 left. Not a bad start at all. Special thanks to Neill Murphy from Whisky Reviews who kindly agreed to do the first review for us and we are glad we have not disappointed him. There are more casks of rum in the pipeline folks, so keep an eye out for future releases and I will be sure to let you all know where and when the next batch will be out.
Back on the home turf and our love of all things cask strength, single cask whisky. The fourth release has mostly come and gone by now although for our friends in the Netherlands and Belgium there is still plenty in your shops due to (as you will remember from last months Brexit rant) the order taking a wee bit longer to reach your shores. For the rest of us, I can tell you that there isn’t too much longer to wait before batch five starts making its way out of the warehouse as we are due to bottle at the end of this month. That said we had booked the bottling for the end of last month so I am not holding my breath.
We are (slowly) doing our very best to expand on our very slime pickings in Scotland by trying to get a bottle or two into some of our favourite whisky bars and September saw two of Glasgow’s flag ship whisky establishments taking us on board. First up was the Pot Still and a big thanks to the marvel who is Frank Murphy who kindly agreed to take in both our Ben Nevis 8 year old with a white port finish and the delicious Dumbarton 20 year old single grain. Many thanks Frank and I will be round with samples of the new stock as soon as it’s available. Next up is one of Scotlands best know watering holes, the world famous Bon Accord in Charing Cross, where a character known to many of you out there, the wonderful Paul McDonagh agreed to give our humble bottles a resting place on his bar with the 13 year old Macduff and the same Ben Nevis in white port now available. As with Frank, I will be in propping up the bar with samples as soon as I have them, Sir.
When these two wonderful bars are added to Òran Mór, The Highlander Bar Craigellachie and the Artisan in Wishaw we are slowly but steadily spreading our wings. We are working hard to bring you a UK exclusive early next year as I think I have mentioned before so all going to plan there will be plenty more for all of you.
Back to the continent and I am delighted to report that we now have not one, not two but seven new retailers in the Netherlands now stocking Dràm Mòr bottlings so a great big thank you to Mr. Erik Molinar and his team at Kintra Spirits for spreading the love. These outlets are as follows…..
Van Der Heijden Wijn in Gedistilleerd, Eindhoven; the Whisky Specialist in Alkmaar; Best of Whiskies, Bussum (not so new, but always good to give the good folks there a shout out); Bij Thijs of Vlagtwedde; Whiskybase in Rotterdam; Whiskysite of Leiden, and last but not least Slijterj Zeewijck Jmuiden. We also have a new face to say hello to in Belgium as Wine and Spirits of Bonheiden join the gang. Great to have you with us folks and thanks for choosing to stock us. I am very much looking forward to meeting you all in person and if possible to perhaps pop into your stores for a wee in store pour for some of your clients. It is always nice to say hello to some of our older friends too so its a big “hello” to all our friends at the Tensu Bar who received their new Dràm Mòr stock the other week. I am hoping there’s not too much left by now folks!
Welcome one and all to the Dràm Mòr Clan and thank you so much for putting your faith in us. So that is all the breaking news and hopefully you now have a better picture of what we’ve been up to. Tastings next and although there have been a few in person tastings happening with such as our Whisky Club getting back to normal most have still been on line not mainly this time down to restrictions, but more to do with the logistics of getting too folk. Such was the case when I had yet another evening with my now good friends of The Berkshire Whisky Club under the watchful eye of Mr. Raymond Hunter where we had a great night having a wee sip of our batch four drams with the winner on the night being the baby of the bunch, the Dalmunach 5 year old just narrowly pipping three other drams to the title on the night. A big thanks you from me to Raymond and all the team down there for always making me feel so welcome and of course for the continued support that all the team down there give us. It was also nice to have one of the club members join me on the night as my great pal Mr Shilton Almeida (now of Clydebank) took the time to pop down and sit in on the tasting and thank goodness he did as I had a customary IT meltdown so it was Shilton’s phone that dug me out a hole. Cheers, Big Man, and loving that t-shirt!!!
A wee word on a personal note to the handsome young man making Shilton and me look worse than normal. Congratulations to both John and Steph Kennedy on tying the knot durning September. A great night was had by all (or at least I think we did?) A sure sign of a great wedding is not really remembering it after all. Next my good pal in Belgium Mac Geert with the help from the wonderful Geert and Claudine Ros conducted a tasting and by the looks of things there was only ever going to be one winner on the night. We really won a watch when we decided to bottle the 14 year old Inchfad that we had placed into first fill PX for a short (and not to overpowering) finish.
Next up is one that has to sit in the “pending” box as my big pal Rob Vergrouw has been very proactive in securing stock for our next tasting with his whisky group in the Netherlands. This would have been done and dusted but as I am going to be in The Netherlands quite a bit in November we have decided to put it on hold for a wee while to see if there is a window of opportunity to do this one in person. Fingers crossed Rob!
On to some of the reviews that we have received through September from both the professionals and some of our home based keyboard reviewers. As always when it comes to Whisky Fun we so appreciate the time that they take to look at our bottles and last month it was the turn of our Ben Nevis 9 year old finished in Palo Cortado sherry. It was over to Angus this time who took the time to have a good look at all aspects of this dram concluding with a very healthy score of 84 points. Many thanks as always to both Angus and Serge for the time they take to scrutinise our whiskies. Next on to a gentleman who I made mention of last month but since then has been putting his hard earned cash to good use building his Dràm Mòr collection. Mr. Colin O’Hart and I have been talking for a wee while now as we had to work out the best way to get our drams over to the Emerald Isle without having to suffer the horrible import duty we now have on us so it turns out the for Colin to get our bottles the short distance over the water it is much more cost effective to go via mainland Europe. I know that there have been many delays in him getting his deliver so a big thank you to him not only for the support but the patience. Colin took the time to pass comment on both our wonderful Dalmunach and the Ben Nevis highlighted above. Great to hear your thoughts, my friend, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on our drams through the years. A couple of nice wee social media offerings up next coming from firstly a man with a very famous name but I hope a better handle on the bevy, Mr George Best who was kind enough to post a comment on both our latest Ben Nevis bottlings with the White Port finish taking it’s place beside the Palo Cortado finish. This was followed with a nice wee post from Mr Graham Fraser who had popped into the above mentioned Pot Still for a dram which saw the Dumbarton getting an airing. To both of you gents, many thanks for the support! Last one to say a big thanks to is Mr Joe Bizjak who posted on the Edinburgh Whisky Group after a lightning raid on The Good Spirits Co. Delighted to hear that the drams went down well Joe.
One more stop off on this rather longer than usual update and that is to say a great big thank you to my great friend Ruddi or Hans Werner Rudat to give him his Sunday name who once again painstakingly worked his way through my last update to translate it for some of our German fans out there. Ruddi, you are a star my pal! So that brings me to the end of what was a look back at a very busy month. Can’t wait to see what October is going to bring to our door but till then, as always, stay safe, Enjoy the move into some more traditional whisky weather with a dram or two and be good to each other. From Viktorija, Ruaraidh and yours truly……..