Hello, Hello to one and all. We hope this finds you in the pink and fighting fit as always and that the summer sunshine and extreme heat hasn’t put you off the occasional tipple of your favourite drams. Knowing you lot I have every faith that heat or no heat the liquid gold is still flowing! So what has been happening since we last chatted I hear you ask? Well, there has been a fair bit going on so let’s get tore into July and see what transpires.
SUMMER RELEASE 2022
Number one on the news front in July was the long awaited release of our Summer outturn. Not the biggest outturn we have ever released with only five single cask, cask strength drams making the way to the shelves this time round, but that said, what cracking drams they are even if I do say so myself. The plan had been to release a sizeable outturn this time around, but we had one consignment of Bourbon casks that gave us very little if any finish and as I have said on many occasions, if the whisky isn’t top notch its won’t make its way into a Dràm Mòr bottle so you can rest in the knowledge that what is out there for you just now is spot on. The biggest hit so far from the feedback that we have received has been the young 6 year old Glenglassaugh coming in at 56.1% ABV and having spent a good wee while resting in a first fill Oloroso hogshead. We only managed to squeeze out 253 bottles form this one, which is a shame, as it is a true gem and goes to support the theory that if a dram is good enough, it’s old enough! Frank at the Pot Still requested an extra bottle as it turned out to be very popular among bar staff as well. Of course, this in no way the only bottle worth your attention! There are the twins… two Tullibardine 7 year olds. One finished in my favourite cask, Palo Cortado (although thanks to our wonderful printers it is labeled as a Pao Cortado. Dràm Mòr spelling mistakes strike again!) with the sister cask seeing us putting up a straight Bourbon maturation for those of you who like your whisky with a bit more vanilla and coconut. Inchfad is a dram that always draws attention from the whisky connoisseur and quite rightly so and with the ability to access peated spirit at a price that is affordable for folk becoming harder and harder it is great to be able to bring a gentle roll of peat smoke into your glass. This one comes to you at 52.3% (a soft drink in Dràm Mòr terms) and after 14 and a bit years maturing in refill bourbon it has had a good 6 months of tender loving care from an Amontillado hoggie. For those of you lucky enough to get your hands on the last Inchfad, we released I can promise a very different, but no less special dram. Last up is an old faithful to us and that is good old Ben Nevis. This is by no means our first flirtation with Ben Nevis and as always this is a spirit that never disappoints. We have gone for a gentle PX finish with this 8 year old cask but at 57.9% ABV this is no shrinking violet. Now, I do enjoy a good Pedro Xemenez maturation, but sometimes they can be just a little bit over the top with overly heavy and stick sweet overtones that mask the mother spirit. If you like this type of thing as your drink of choice can I save you some money and suggest you just buy a bottle of PX (it’s much cheaper!) Personally, I always find that the perfect dram is a marriage between spirit and oak with neither overwhelming the other. When worked right you end up with the perfect balance of spirit complimenting oak and oak complimenting spirit and with this Ben Nevis I am delighted to say that we have ticked that box. I’m delighted to report that we have managed to get 321 bottles form this cask so there should be plenty to go round even if only for a very short time so don’t sit on your hands folks because as you know, when their gone, their gone! So that’s the whisky up to speed but as I am sure you are all aware by now we are no longer just a whisky bottler.
From time to time we like to bring a taste of the tropics to you with our single cask, cask strength rums. Now for the moment there have only been four casks released, but there are more to come. Issues with bottling times has meant that the rum release has been a bit disjointed but we’re getting there. Out at the moment, there are two cask from one of (if not the) best rum distilleries on the planet and one that rum enthusiasts adore and that’s Foursquare. The first is a thirteen year old 2009 bottling which has a robust 60.9% ABV and in a similar vein to our first Foursquare release this cask is a mix of pot and column still spirit and has spent 8 years in ex Bourbon cask in the Caribbean followed by 5 years maturing in an ex Scotch whisky cask, so there is a beautiful fusion of both spirits here. The second of our Foursquare releases is a bit special for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this 15 year old single cask comes in at 59.5% ABV and has, like its companion cask, spent 8 years in ex American Bourbon but this time a total of 7 years over here in an ex Scotch whisky cask. This allows the marriage of Barbados and the Scottish Highlands to blend in so well that it leaves a silken feel to this rum that is a marriage made in heaven. Secondly, and very importantly all proceeds from this bottling will be donated to charity www.blue-yellow.lt supporting Ukraine. As some of you may know I have been fortunate in the past to work on many occasions in Ukraine and I have been lucky to make many good friends in that wonderful country. It is (or was) one of my favourite destinations and the warmth of the Ukrainian people has always been seconds to none. This added to the fact that courtesy of her late father, Viktorija is half Ukrainian, her dad hailing from the great city of Kiev, so it felt right to have this special release on behave of so many of my friends who are either scattered all over Europe and beyond now or standing shoulder to shoulder with their brothers fighting. Not only is this in incredibly good rum but an incredibly good cause. It has certainly tweaked interest here in Scotland with the Good Spirits Co. in Glasgow selling their ten case allocation in less than 48 hours (we shall see what we can find to top you up folks!). So don’t drag your heels if you want to get your hands on one of the 335 bottles that are out there.
July historically is by far the quietest month of the year when it comes to events due to holiday season being in full swing, hence hot summer time is not always the best bed fellow to a good dram but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had a wee event to two to look back on. We had the pleasure of joining our old friends Steve Tan (@ajourneywithmypalate) and Andrew Burleigh (@Scotchsavvy) on their famous Whisky Chat. It is always a joy catching up with these lads and getting to opportunity to chew the fat over a dram or three. If this is a show that you haven’t sat in on in the past can I advise you do do a wee rewind and catch one of the 12 episodes that have been released to date. Who knows, you might see a few faces you recognise! I had the good fortune to catch up with one of our favourite whisky clubs here at home and that was the East End Whisky Club for a wee chat and a sample of 6 of our drams. The only in person event this month was a little different for me as I packed up my kilt and hit the road again, but this time only popping south of the border to Englandshire where Highlands and Islands Enterprise had very kindly asked me to once again join them at the Farnborough Airshow to show their clients a wee bit go highland hospitality. Now this happened to coincide with the UK’s hottest ever recorded temperatures as we sizzled in +40C, albeit our hall had pretty good air-con, but that didn’t help, when you need to lug all your stock to 15 minute walk to the hall from the carpark in full Highland dress! It was a wee bit uncomfortable and to be honest my feet still haven’t forgiven me but it was well worth it as I held whisky tastings for the likes of NASA, NATO and the American Space Force (yes it really is a thing folks). I can also boast that I (to my knowledge) am the only man ever to do a space walk whilst wearing a kilt! (OK, it was courtesy of virtual reality but still a pretty incredible experience), so a big thanks to Nial for sorting that for me.
It has been a busy month as we strive to build our UK footprint which has been paper thin since we started bottling, but as I have mentioned this is the year that we start to address this by finding new retail partners to work with and so far so good so it gives me great pleasure to welcome to the Dràm Mòr Clan the following….
Scotland: A big hello to the Aberdeen Whisky Shop and all the lads and Lassies at the Inverurie Whisky shop. These two great boutique shops join our growing gang in Scotland which you can find on our website. Welcome on board folks.
England: Little by little we are starting to open up some retail with our next door neighbours so a big hello to the wonderfully named Cut Your Wolf Loose in the sun kissed seaside town of Brighton who join our friends in Carlisle at the House of Malt.
Germany: I’m also delighted to introduce a great friend of mine to the party Mr Stephan Lyncker in the fantastic city of Mannhiem where you can now find a very broad selection of Dràm Mòr drams available in the really good store of Guenuss Im Quadrant. Delight to have you with us, Big Man, and I am already looking forward to a wee night with the club in the back room for a tasting!
It’s not just the boutique whisky store who have been looking to stock us as little by little we grow our on trade presence. I can’t mention on trade without a special word to our biggest supporter on the bar front and that is the Aladdin’s cave of whisky that is the Pot Still on Hope Street in Glasgow. As always they are first to be hammering on the door for our drams and I am more than happy to oblige. Can’t thank Geraldine, Frank and all the gang in there enough for their continued support. Two new faces for our Korean friends to sample our wares with the Still Room and Bar Boon coming on board. Whether on or off trade, we welcome one and all.
Some old friends and some new have served up their thoughts on our drams this last month and we will start with our old pal, the enigmatic Mr Steve Tan of A Journey With My Palate who took the arduous task of appraising our Blair Athol 10 year old from our Spring 2022 release. Looks like it hit the button but you can read his thoughts here: …..Then it’s over to his other online half as Andrew Burleigh is passed the baton and under the Scotch Savvy banner we was good enough to share his thoughts on a couple of the newbies with the Ben Nevis, Glenglassaugh and Inchfad being discussed. Always a pleasure mate and I’m delighted we keep doing the right thing by you. Next up we have an on line review by the Dram Barron who was kind enough to cast an eye over our latest Ben Nevis. I have to admit to loving this dram and I am delighted to report that I asm not the only one as the Barron seems to agree. Many thanks for the review my friend. Its across the pond for the next review and a big hello to Dark Cloud whisky in Alberta, Canada who had the difficult task of sitting through the much lauded 20 year old Dumbarton Single Grain which was a thing of beauty. Delight to see that we agree on this one Dark Cloud and many thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope this will not be the last we hear from you. We will stay over in Canada for the next review and it is to the mental live wires of the Whisky Heathens for a review of our Glenrothes madeira finish form Autumn 2021. I’m not so sure on the 18+ intro to this on line review but as these lads are very “tongue in cheek” and like to live on the edge. Delighted we have proven Glenrothes can be a cracking dram lads and thanks for the continued support. We also received a fabulous feedback from Dark Cloud Whisky on our Dumbarton single grain 20 yo, which is great and hopefully this category of whisky will keep gaining its deserved ground among other Scotches on the market. Last one for July’s online reviews goes to Two Whisky Bro’s would ran the rule over out Tullibardine classic Bourbon maturation and the bold Glenglassuagh. Really chuffed that you enjoyed what you sampled Bro’s and welcome on board. One the TV front, it us having a herald debut of Dràm Mòr whiskies on TV in South Korea! What? I hear you say…. Yup, you heard right and it is all thanks to our superb distributor over there so it is big thanks to Chun for grabbing this opportunity to expose us the the good folk of Seul and beyond. So that’s the lates headlines out the road. We would love to hear from any of you who sample our latest bottles and if you get in touch I will try and include you in next month ramblings.
Right, there are a few of you to mention this month so to round things of let’s run through our contributors from keyboard land. It’s a multi national spread this month and it’s back to Canada first and a big thanks to Malts & Grains for heralding the new arrivals of our bottles with them. Hope they’re all gone by the time I write this, folks. Staying over there, we say hello to Sean Legend who was waxing lyrically about our Foursquare which certainly hit the spot. Cheers, Sean, and welcome aboard. Belgium is the next stop and we welcome Whisky Papa to the show and were delighted that you enjoyed the Williamson as much as we did, my friend. Ok, let’s go to Germany and the wonder city of Hamburg and my pal Tobi, who spent a bit of time weighing up both the Glenglassaugh and Ben Nevis from the current release. What a tough day that musty have been Tobias! Back to our Canadian pals and it’s Edmonton Scotch Club this time who had the pleasure of cracking a bottle of our Macduff from winter 2021 and finished in Moscatel. Thank you so much for letting us know your thoughts and we hope to bring you many more great drams in the future.
Down South next to someone we have heard from before e and its Whisky with Molly who tantalised their taste buds with one of our Tullibardine casks of the latest release and it was the Palo Cortado that fell under their gaze. Many thanks for the lovely comments, Molly. The last two are going to a couple of contributors who made themselves comfy in the aforementioned Pot Still, where Kevin Granton Whisky was found to be enjoying a good quarter gill (35ml in new money) of the Inchfad. Thanks for the post, Kevin, and last but not least Adam, who was also found in the Pot Still have a wee sample of our Glenglassaugh. To one and all of you a massive thanks for the posts and the support that you have given us. You folks are why we do what we do! If I have missed you please accept my apologies and, hopefully, I can squeeze you in next time.
So that was July then. We roasted in the the beating sun and if you were in Scotland, paddled in some outstanding downpours. Well what’s a Scottish summer without the rain? It just leaves me to say a massive thanks to all of you out there for continuing to show us the love that we get and as always, stay safe and well, be kind to each other and keep on dreaming.