Hello to one and all and welcome to December’s ramblings. I hope as I write this that you have all found yourselves on Santa’s nice list and that you had a chance to pop your tooties up and over indulge in all things food and drink, especially that of an unchillfiltered persuasion. Well, December was a fantastic month for us in many different ways as you will discover so best crack on…
There is only one big item on the news front this month, but it is one that has been long in the making and a product that Viktorija and I have put a lot into. On December 19th, I am delighted to announce that our first repeatable blended malt was finally bottled and will be released in the New Year. Dumbarton Rock blended malt will be hitting the shelves at 46% and will be unchillfiltered, so we are trying to keep the standard and quality of the blended malt just as high as we have with the single cask drams. It is always a concern when you are planning to bottle anything with mumbling doubts at the back of your head that you might not have got a finish or in this case, a recipe right, hence opening the first ever bottle of Dumbarton Rock had a lot riding on it. Delighted to say that it is even better than I remembered and we now have a rich, fruity dram that is perfect on its on and yet so flexible when it comes to cocktail time. As I have mentioned, it isn’t on general release just yet, but it will be coming your way in January 2023. I am really looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks when they get the chance to try this brilliant blended malt!
As a rule, December and January are the quietest months of the year and in years gone by I would be putting my suitcase away at the very beginning of December, but this year we had a few wee bits and bobs that needed the personal touch. First up was a Dràm Mòr event hosted by our great mate Jürgen Vromans (The Whisky Mercenary), who kindly represented our brand at the Discovery Days event held on the 3rd held by Hesby-Drink in the town of Loncin just north of Liege in Belgium. Knowing Jürgen, Dràm Mòr will have a good few new friends after this event so thanks to all who came over to say hello to Jürgen and who gave our drams a wee try. One day on and we had the pleasure to join our old friends Steve Tann and Andrew Burleigh on their fabulous on line Whisky Chats (episode 13, see our Instagram). Now these lads have become great friends of ours and it is always a joy to spend a wee bit of time chewing the fat with the boys over a dram or two. For this event we were joined online by Aberdeen Whisky Shop who were kind enough to give anyone buying any of the bottles on show, a discount on the day. Many thanks to all at AWS and here’s to another year of working together. So that might have been the last on line show of the year but that didn’t mean it was “feet up” time just yet. There was still time for the passport to get one last outing although it was just a short hop over to the Netherlands and our very good friend Mr. Niek Van Duuren and the hotel Wildthout in the beautiful little town of Ommen in the North East of the country. Now we have been out to Niek’s place a few times before to run whisky dinners for him but this one was special. Well, when I say this one it was in fact two nights of the best quality fine dining with a five course meal on each night with each one being paired to a Dràm Mòr bottling. The night of the eighth saw us joined by 30 members of the local Business Club who were wined and dined and a fine night was had by all. Now the second night was a step up. This time we had over 70 folk in attendance all of who had signed up for a night of fine food, great drams and a wee bit of patter from yours truly. There was, however, one thing that neither Niek or I took into account when organising this event and that was what the Netherlands might be more interested in at the time what with the quarter finals of Qatar 2022 in full flow with Argentina and Lionel Messi going head to head with the Dutch at the very same time as our dinner. I have to be honest, I thought that the amount of cancelations that may result from this were going to spoil the night but I couldn’t have been more wrong with not one single call off. We did however make sure that there was a big screen put up to ensure that those who wanted to see then game didn’t miss out although when we take the Netherlands abilities from the penalty spot into account I have a feeling that we would have been better leaving the big screen rolled up. That said thankfully it didn’t spoil what was a fantastic night and we are already planning the next one. A massive thanks to Niek, Petra and all their wonderful staff for such a wonderful two days and we can’t wait for the next visit.
Only one on the books this month, which is understandable what with the Christmas release only just having been released and folk being very busy in the run up to Christmas, so hats off to our old pal and great supporter of Dràm Mòr Mr. Rod Morrison who cast an eye over our latest release from Scotland’s oldest distillery, the Glenturret as we once again trusted to their abilities to create some superb plated spirit under the name of Ruadh Maor. This ten year old was finished in a first fill Portuguese red wine cask and the 268 bottles that we got from this cask was released at 57.2%. I am delighted to say that Rod found this dram as irresistible as I did but you can find his concussions by clicking the link just here (our Facebook). A wee mention to my pal Sebastien Mottrie who didn’t supply us with a review but did forward me an interview with some great questions with some strong threads of discussion in there so it might be of interest to a few of you. Thanks Seb for asking me to take part in this interview and if ever we can be of help with anything else, well you know where to find me.
As always we have had a great amount of exposure on a variety of social networking platforms courtesy of our friends from all corners of the world so many many thanks to everyone as always for helping spread the love of Dràm Mòr. Here are a few of the posts that we have had this month. First up its many thanks to Bart Schipper who had got his hands on a bottle of Ruadh Maor 10 year old White Port finish. Over to Dramsanddrips, our friends in Toronto who posted a battle of the 13 year old Foursquares where our own one went toe to toe with one from Valinch and Mallet and Rasta Morris. From Canada to the Czech Republic where Rum.cz were kind enough to include our Clarendon in their recent tasting. As we are still very much the new kids on the bloke in the Czech Rep we are delighted to see our bottles starting to make their way out to these tastings. A Christmas Eve post from Ayrshirewhisky courtesy of Chloe Postlethwaite saw our 14 year old Macduff cuddling up to some tinsel in a very festive note. Meanwhile, ensignewartpub posted a beautiful snap of our 9 year old refill Sherry Butt at 58%. Many thanks, folks.
Christmas Day I’m Mr. Alex Mennie’s house seemed to be going pretty well. Sticky toffee pudding and our single grain Girvan sounds like a marriage made in heaven! Boxing Day looked to be a hoot to as in the Whiskyevening.de in Germany, where both our Glen Moray and our first release of the wonderful spirit that is Dalmunach were being enjoyed. Many thanks for the support. Next up is Mr Paul Bovis who was luck enough to get his hands on a bottle of our Glenrothes in first fill Madeira Barrique. This was a belter of a dram so it is great to see it still being enjoyed. Sadly, it has been a long time since my own bottle bit the dust. Over to Phil Fraser who sent a bottle of out 7 year old Tullibardine to the bottle graveyard. It is always a tough one to say goodbye to one of these old friends but I can tell you that after sampling some cask samples the other day there’s plenty more interesting stuff to come at you from Tullibardine. The last mention has to go to my brother-in-law Radas who sent me through a very unexpected present with not one, not two but three Dràm Mòr bottles but with a difference. Bottle one was Hoooray, we’ve started with bottle two marked up as Excitement and Frustrations (how well he knows our lives as Indy Bottlers) and as if the prove the point bottle three just says Work! Work! Work! On it. Three beautifully carved bottles, which will take pride of place in the office.
Before we wrap up, we made a delightful Whit Christmas Mojito with our Cuban rum to enjoy during this festive period that we thoroughly enjoyed and could recommend you try it at home as well. You can find a recipe on our social media. Massive thanks to our photographer Arianna for helping us with the upgrade of our social media presence.
One last mention and it goes to my late Mum who we lost in February of this year. It had taken Mum a wee bit of time to buy into the idea of investing in a few casks but when she did she was excited at the idea of seeing her cask bottled. Our current release has a delicious Craigellachie 9 year old red wine finish which was my Mum’s cask. She never got to see it bottled but anytime I pour a dram from this bottle I will raise a glass to her with sometimes a tear and others a smile. Thanks for everything, Mum. So that puts 2022 to bed. After a few horrible years in lockdown we seem to be back to what is pretty much normal and all going well next year will be a great one for all of us. The one thing I am sure of is that it is going to be a very busy one for us here at Dràm Mòr but that’s the way we like it! Well, I think that’s that, so too one and all of you from both Viktorija and I, we wish you the happiest of New Years. Don’t drink too much (just the right amount sounds about right) have a great time and we can catch up, same place next year.
Bliadha Mhath Ùr!