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Dràm Mòr Whisky Update No. 29

Hello, everyone! Time flies and we are already in the beginning of February 2023….

NEWS

First up and by far and away the big talking point from Dràm Mòr this month is the grand unveiling of Dumbarton Rock. This is our first foray into the world of blended malt and at 46% ABV and being un-chillfiltered we have tried as much as possible to carry the ethos of what we have been been doing over the past few years with the single cask drams. This blended malt only consists of 5 different single malts, so there is no room for mistakes and nowhere to hide if there is a spirit in there that isn’t up to scratch. This new dram only hit the bars and shelves at the beginning January this year, but already we have said a fond farewell to many a case and the feedback that we have had so far has been superb. As a blended malt this wee belters a great addition to any cocktail or as a long drink, but equally is delicious as a stand alone dram, which is just the way I like it. At present we are still spreading our wings as far as availability goes but if you are struggling to find a bottle close to you please just drop us an email to point you in the right direction. I can tell you that the usual suspects are carrying Dumbarton Rock and that the first load of this wee gem is heading its way to the continent as we speak. There were a couple of firsts when it comes to the Rock; however, that need special mention. Mr. Rod Morrison, an old friend of this parish was the first person on the planet to put his hand into his pocket to buy the new blended malt. Couldn’t have gone to a nicer chap. Oh, and that bottle was sold from our old mates at the Good Spirit Co., who were the first to stock us in both single malts and rums and now with Dumbarton Rock. Another couple of firsts and it is a couple as in a dead heat the Piper Whisky Bar and the Pot Still saw Dumbarton Rock hit their bars first on the same day. Thanks to everyone of you!

Credit pic: Aberdeen Whisky Shop.

In other news you may not be aware, but from time to time a squad of the best folk in the industry get together to help raise a wee bit of money for the Ben, which is the Hospitality industries charity. We do this by all donating a bottle into what has become known as the Ambassadors Collection. This was the brain child of Mr. Andrew Bell of the wonderful Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd. and Mr. Paul Dempsey now of Brave New Spirits, but this year it fell to one of the nicest folk out this Ms. Jenny Karlsson who organised the collection and route to auction. Now I am still to hear how much we raised all in, but I do know that some very kind person’s winning bid for our Ruadh Maor 10 year old finished in red wine amounted to £160.00, which blew us away. Whoever you are, thank you so much. One last bit of news and that comes in the shape of a new stockist and it’s a big hello to Stevie and Dave at Stevie’s Drams at Loch Lomond shores. If you are ever lucky enough to be down by the loch you could do a lot worse than pop into this great wee hidden gem!

EVENTS

Well, historically January is the doldrums, when it comes to any form of whisky events with folk either living in fear of the credit card bill from Decembers over indulgence or living in fear of their own liver after over indulgence of a different sort, but it has to be said, this year has see us fast out the blocks! First up and it is over to a couple of guys who have become real friends of Viktorija and I as well as great supporters of our brands. Steve Tan and Andrew Burleigh were once again kind enough to invite us to take part in the first Whiskychat of 2023, where we had a great time sampling a few drams from the Christmas release as well as the Dumbarton Rock. There was one wee difficult moment, where I had to describe our recent Craigellachie release, which was my Mum’s cask. She was excited at the fact of her cask being bottled, but sadly she didn’t live to see it. But I am very happy that her dram is now being enjoyed by so many folk and although I’m none too bad when writing about it, it did catch in my throat when talking. No matter, we got there in the end and as always we had a great time talking to the boys and look forward to revisiting their excellent platform again some day soon. Pic below by Arianna.

It isn’t very often that I am reaching for my passport in January, but Friday the 13th (of all the days) had both of us on the road again and winging airway to our German home of Nuremberg for a first for Dràm Mòr. We had the honour of sponsoring this great city’s Burn’s Night held in the stunning surroundings of the Grand Hotel and what a well named place it is! I was delighted to see a bottle of our delicious Secret Orkney in Chateaux Yaqueum cask on each table and with some prestigious guests such as the Uber Burgermeister of Nuremberg Mr. Marcus König and Glasgow’s own wonderful Lord Provost Ms. Jacqueline McLaren along with many other dignitaries from both cities. I have to be honest in saying that I was worried that this might be a wee bit stuffy but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The one thing you can never do is go into something like this without a good warm up first and its with great thanks to John and Catarina Farley in Nuremberg for organising a sold out tasting in the Thirsty Baker the night before, where on the night we couldn’t find an overall winner as the votes on the Dràm Mòr drams that we tasted were neck and neck all the way. So good seeing so many old friends and getting to put a few faces to folk who had only ever joined on line before. What a fantastic time we had and as always the people of Nuremberg proved once agin what a wonderful city it is. If you have never been I can strongly recommend a wee visit!

Well all good things come to an end and it was goodbye to Germany, but not straight home as we had to take a wee detour en route via gay Paris, where we had a visit to one of the French capitals best kept secrets, Distillierie de Paris and Mr. Nicolas Julhes who treated us incredible well and gave us the guided tour of one of the smallest but beautifully run distilleries I have seen in many a year. Here we had another first for Dumbarton Rock as Nicolas received the first ever bottle of this blended malt in France, whilst our awesome artist Iveta Smidtaite who designed the label signed the bottle along with us for him.

So to home and I had a whole 45 minutes before rolling my sleeves up and getting on line with Mr. Raymond Hunter and the rest of the gang from the Berkshire Whisky Club. It is always a joy catching up with this motley crew and on this occasion we decided to think out the box a bit and we went for a rum tasting. Of course every rum was single cask, cask strength (would you expect any less from us?) and the night (as always) overran by a mile but a fine night was had by all and I am pretty sure the head I had the next day couldn’t be put down to jet lag! Great seeing these guys again and I am already looking forward to the next time. So that was our January events. Not too bad for a start to a year don’t you think? Plenty more to come as I have my skates on again on Thursday, but that can wait till next time.

REVIEWS

Our loyal fried Rod who managed to grab the first bottle of our Dumbarton Rock in the UK kindly sent us his tasting notes for our new blended malt: “Palate: there is a thick, creamy texture to this rounded, well balanced whisky with flavours of bees’ wax and leather to the fore. As you move the dram around the mouth, then the taste profile is complimented by flavours of butterkist popcorn and dates. The dram is rounded off with notes of apple strudel and hints of coffee that gives this whisky a great depth of flavour and nice even warmth that perfectly completes this interesting well-balanced taste profile. Also big thanks to Dramface and Lamberto of WhiskyArt for their contributions in helping us to spread the word and love for our bottlings.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Oh, boy! Were you lot busy on the old keyboards last month. My poor fingers might not survive this but here goes… First up, my best pal in the beautiful city of Prague and it’s over to Mirka who posted from a stunning Whiskeria bar in Prague the newly arrived bottles of ours. There are a few throwbacks in there folks, so if you are lucky enough to be visiting this great city, please help Mirka get rid of them, so she can buy more! Over to Ben at the Whisky Diary who just can’t seem to get his head around the fact that every dram we bring out he seems to fall in love with. Ben, I’m not 100% sure what we’re doing right myself, mate, but we are keep on doing it, that’s a promise. Tooobi is up next (no, the O key didn’t get stuck before you ask) was so happy with his newly acquired Tullibardine 7 year old that it was on social media straight away. Thanks, mate! A group of folk who are really become one of our greatest supporters are the Aberdeen Whisky Shop, who posted a few wee snaps last month with not only the 6 year old Dalmunach (great dram by the way) making an appearance but of course Dumbarton Rock had to get pride of place.

Cant thank you enough for the continued support that you show us guys.There have been a few new names popping up over the last 4 weeks, which is a lovely thing to see, and its over to another newbie next with Mario Super in France I am assuming as his reaction to trying our Clarendon 10 year old cask strength rum was simply “Extraodinaire!!” (Two exclamation marks. Cant do better than that.). Denny McTaggert is up next from the Hotel & Bistro Reynaert in the Netherlands who was chuffed to blazes with the 9 year old Deanston he got and it’s staying with Deanston, but this time the 14 year old and an old hand at this, Mr Scott Crookston of The friends of Deanston who wanted to share the love of this cracking bottle. Another old pal and thanks to Zerlina at Spirits Castle for taking the time to pop up a snap of the aforementioned Deanston 9 while in the wonderfully named Wala Wala Cate Bar in Singapore. Brilliant! Dram It Mick pops up a few times over the last few weeks but that Ben Nevis 11 year old in PX seems to have done a job on him with the words “monster of a sherried dram” being put to the page. Cheers, Mick. A couple of rum fans next with Maxda5ilva lavishing in the 15 year old Ukrainian charity bottling of Foursquare and Ayrtom1908 getting tore into the cracking Greys from Mauritius.

Keep up the good work lads! I am loving Mr Rob Parr’s attitude when I told us that as soon as pay day came around that Dumbarton Rock was the first thing on the list. Who needs food anyway Rob? It’s overrated. And so it goes on and on and I could run another page on the posts that we have had over the festival period so a extremely grateful nod of the head goes in the direction of the following Whisky Shorts from the Berkshire Whisky Club, Barleymaniablog, Marcin Szczęsny, Rod Morrison (again), Menno and many others.

One last mention and it has to go to the hardest working wee soul you’ll find behind a bar this side of somewhere and it my pal Linzi Cowan from Glasgow SMWS. Now Linzi has been desperate to get her hands on the new blended malt that I may have mentioned once or twice in this edition but every time she dropped into the Pot Still it was old out (again), but finally she got her hands on this smashing wee dram (well, and 35ml it’s not that wee). So happy that her perseverance finally paid of and, Linzi, I will be seeing you soon, I hope.

So January is done and dusted and the year is racing by. Is it just me or will I be getting the Christmas tree back up again in jig time? To say that it has been a great start to the year isn’t coming close. There are other irons in fires warming up nicely and what is out there already is going from strength to strength so we are happy folk. That said it would be nothing without you good folk out there and for that as I am sure you know by now, we are incredibly grateful. Till the next time folks keep smiling. Look out for each other and raise a dram from time to time.

Slàinte!

Kenny

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