Hello to one and all and welcome to the penultimate newsletter from me for 2022. Exactly where the year has gone I have no idea if truth be know, but between writing the first one of the year whilst still in the seemingly never ending lockdown to next month surrounded by tinsel, mince pies and an overwhelming sense of shame for the amount that I have eaten and drank the year seems to have gone in the blink of an eye. That said we have achieved a lot this year and when it comes to sitting down this time next month the write a summery of the year, I think, I will be able to add the last full stop of the year with a smile but that’s for next month. We have work to do and it ain’t holiday time yet, so let’s crack on and have a wee look at what November brought to the table.
In came November and with it came the welcome release of of winter outturn. Now this one was a small offering with only four casks coming to you that are spot on and there are some incredible flavours to be discovered. Available now: Glen Elgin 8 yo, finished simply in 1st fill Bourbon and at 56.8% that is young and lively at first, but with a teardrop of water, the elegance of this dram shines through and the flavours are truly festive. This one is a classic example of two flavour profiles in one bottle and one you really should try if you get the chance. Next up is a juicy Craigellachie 9 yo and coming at you at a mellow 52.1% (a soft drink by our standards). Gathering all the juicy berry notes from the first fill red wine barrique from Portugal that the spirit sat in for the last 4 months of its maturation this will sit so well on the Christmas dinner table. Now most of you know that I am a big fan of single grain whiskies and we are very proud to present our latest cask strength, single cask grain whisky and it’s a Girvan 27 year old still standing strong at 54.8%.This wonderful dram is coming to you from the cask it has spent all its days in which is a refill Bourbon barrel. There are only 178 bottles of this on the face of the planet so don’t drag your heels if you are keen to get your hands on this wee cracker. It wouldn’t be fair, if we were to ignore those of you who love a wee whack of peat smoke in your dram, but panic not as a mouth watering Ruadh Maor 10 year old will certainly take care of your needs. This incredibly good dram hails from Scotland’s oldest distillery (officially before you start ticking me off) Glenturret Distillery. We have again turned to our friends from Portugal for another red wine barrique, but nothing in this one would make you think that it shared the same style of maturation as the Craigellachie. A punchy yet incredibly well rounded dram at 57.2% I can see this one being a fans favourite. As with all our releases you will find them at the usual suspects such as the Good Spirits Co. in Glasgow and on line platform Masters of Malt and Whisky Online, who were first to grab stock, but we are still sorting orders to a few others. On trade well, if you can’t find it in the Artisan in Wishaw it is because we haven’t made it yet but there will be plenty more options to try these drams so keep an eye on our social media posts these will guide your way, folks.
Speaking of all things new it is time to send a warm welcome to a new distributor and not only that but a new country for Dràm Mòr as we send a massive big hello to my great friends at Fous Spirits who run Four Spirits n the Czech Republic. It has been a wee while since I last worked with Mirka and the team in Prague, but would love the opportunity to get back out there and now that both our whisky and rum is available through them out there I will be looking to dust of my Czech Crowns as soon as I can. A massive thanks in making this happen! Here’s to a long and happy relationship working together pal and lets see what we can do next year.
It’s been a good month on the events front for me. Not too crazy with numerous flights for once. In fact there was just a wee hope over the water to a place I love to visit, the Netherlands. For many years I have wanted to attend the Netherlands flagship whisky show and that has to be Den Haag. Held in the stunningly beautiful church of Rond de Grote Kerk I have heard many a story of how good this show is and finally this year was my chance to experience it for myself, but not before a detour to see an old pal and visit his whisky club in the North East of the Netherlands, just outside Groningen and it was over to the man mountain that is Rob Vergouw and Whisky Club Pekela. It was a special day being able to spend time with my old pal just catching up over a dram or two (and he doesn’t pour bad drams folks. Believe me!) then onto the delightful community hub where we sampled all things Dràm Mòr and thanks so much for everybody who attended the tasting. A massive thanks to Erik Molenaar at Kintra Spirits for organisation at de Haag and I am very much looking forward to showing my ugly mug much more in that fantastic country in 2023! Same weekend, Claudine and Geert Ros kindly made sure that we had a space at the table rubbing shoulders with some other excellent spirits at Cave Saint Jacques on the town of Tournai, close to the French border in Belgium. In UK in November, the Good Spirits in Glasgow included our Diamond 10 yo rum in their scheduled rum tasting and our dram came first in the line up! Your support and friendship is always massively appreciated, so thank you for everything.
Back home for just 8 hours, I had to fly to Dover House, next door to Downing Street and the home of the Scottish Office at Westminster for an event tagged ‘A Taste of Scotland” where a few food and drink producers had been invited to showcase what we do. Durning setting up, there was a bit of a commotion coming from the back yard, so we went out on the big balcony to see what was going on. Well the “back yard” technically is called Horseguards Parade and the commotion was a State Visit fro South African President Cyril Ramaphosa with the new King brining out all the posh carriages and the Household Cavalry or Lifeguards (well, guys, on horses) for the occasion. Not something you see every day! So onto work and session one was fabulous as Ambassadors from many different Embassies paid us a visit and sampled what was on offer. Although we had great interest there were a few standout new fans with firstly the Spanish Ambassador telling me how frustrated he was that the event wasn’t sooner as his King, Felipe VI was over the week before and, apparently, he would have loved our Girvan. The other group that really stood out for me were the Hungarian Ambassador and his team who stayed for a good wee while sampling everything I had. What absolutely delightful folk they were and a big thanks to Ms. Eniko Magyar for keeping in touch and who knows, there may be some incredible Tokaji oak coming to us soon!
There have been a few this month but for a couple of these we are covering old ground. The one that I would love to concentrate on this month is from a new reviewer but an old friend, Mr Phil Storry who I first met through SE23 Whisky club was kind enough to cast an eye over our Deanston 13 year old, red wine finish. Now in my opinion Deanston is a distillery that many people don’t give even close to enough credit fro the quality of spirit that they produce and with a little tweak on the finish you can bring some truly incredible drams to the whacky loving public. I am very grateful to Phil for giving his time over to writing this review and look for ward to feeding him more drams in then future. Have a wee look and see whet he though of this delicious dram. The Rum Barrel were kind enough to to share their thoughts on one of our last rum releases and it was the Mauritius 7 year old. This was a delicious rum, but I would say that, so why don’t you have a look at what these fine folk thought. There is another one to look at now that I think of it and it falls to a new contributor and that’s toe oddly named Cars_&_Cubes hailing from Edmonton in Canada. Now initially when I was looking at what to write about and who to mention this wee snippet fell under social media and yet Cars_&_Cubes manage to do a very clipped review of an old pal the Glenrothes 9 year old finished in a first fill Madeira barrique, so my mysterious friend, you find yourself in the review section this month and many thanks to the cameo from Whisky_Heros who popped up right at the end to say how much they enjoyed it too. Many thanks to all of you as always who take time to run the rule over our bottles. It is always massively appreciated.
As always it has been a very busy month on Social Media with many many of you taking to their keyboards to help spread the love of Dràm Mòr. As a small business we have very little budget when it comes to marketing so the fact that you good folk take the time to post images and thoughts of what we are doing is massively appreciated. First up is a new friend and we welcome Pascal De Tolleneare from Belgium who, with the help of our old pals Geert and Claudine managed to track down a bottle of our inaugural release Benriach. This bottle truly is a unicorn bottle as this cask had leaked badly and we only managed to get 87 bottles from it.The liquid was incredibly good but such a shame there was so little of it. Many thanks to all three of you for finding and sharing this wonderful dram. Another old pal, Neill Murphy from the Glasgow Whisky Group was kind enough to include one of our bottles in a recent tasting with a guest appearance from an old favourite of mine, the Tomatin 10 year old. Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. Over again to Belgium and it’s a big hello to Travel & Rum who were so happy to receive our latest samples that they wanted to share it with the world. Many thanks folks and we look forward to many more sample heading your way over the years. Another new pal and it’s over the big pond to Quebec where Paul M was a happy man when sitting down to a Glenrothes 9 year old finished din Madeira along with a highly impressive looking cigar. Hope they went well together my friend. Staying in Canada but heading West to Alberta where Wine & Beyond celebrated our Macduff 10 which was released in Canada as a tenth anniversary bottling. All the very best for the big 1 0 guys and galls. Watch, Smell, Taste were having a ball with not one but 4 of our bottles with Ruadh Maor, Secret Orkney, Dalmunach and Inchmurrin. Now that’s what I call a party! Over to Germany and its the 45 Dram Club were lucky enough to land a bottle of 15 year old Inchfad. This we cracker was finished in a first fill Amontillado cask and was quite literally…Smoking! Strangely this month saw the reappearance of a bootle that is up there amount the favourites that we have released and that was the 7 year old Aberlour that was finished in Portuguese red wine. Both my good friend Mina at ‘t Parlement bar just outside Brussels (if you are ever in that part of the world this is a bar that is a must to visit) along with Golden Drops in Denmark were kind enough to post about this amazingly good dram. Sadly, it looks like the bottle in ‘t Parlement is now a fallen warrior, but it will not be forgotten. Back to Germany and its a warm welcome to Notes of Malt who told us that under normal circumstances they are not big fans of finishes (not sure why) but with our Glen Moray 10 year old madeira finish seems to have won them over. Its over to a couple of well kent faces here at Dràm Mòr next and first a big thanks to my great friend Rotem Ackermann from Israel who discovered a sneaky wee bottle of our 12 year old rum from Fiji hiding away in a wee bar right on the border with Jordon. The things you find, ah mate!
Next it’s my big mate Jürgen from Jürgens Whisky Huis in Zottegem in Belgium who was delighted to tell the whisky drinking folk of Belgium that our new Inchmurrin was now available. Happy days. One last mention this month and this goes to Paul Carter, who had another bottle of the aforementioned Glen Moray who found a very remote spot to publish a snap of the bottle coming from Prince Edward Island, which I believe is in a place called Clam Lake 175 miles north of Toronto. Many thanks for the post, my friend. As always, if I have missed anyone, please forgive me, but as the months tick by there is more and more to report on. I will catch you next time.
So there we have it. Another month gone and another load of nonsense spouted from me. November was a busy month and looking at the diary there’s not going to be much of a let up so bring on the festive madness and I look forward to talking to you all again with the round up of 2022. Until then, as always stay safe and well, look out for each other and always lend a helping hand to those how need it. Remember, we are lucky folk. Till the next time…