Hello, hello. How are we all getting on, folks? I have to start with an apology for my absence over the last wee while, but September just swamped me what with a mountain of traveling, a new release and to top it all off, moving house at the same time. To say that it has been a wee bit manic doesn’t do it justice, so sorry for not having put out a September newsletter for you all, but I will make it up to you with this bumper edition (well, bumperish).
Three big announcements over the last two months. The first, our Autumn Release 2023 is out now. The first bottled just reached Artisan in Wishaw and further cases will be making their way to Master of Malt and the Good Spirits Co and other shops in the UK next week. Loads of nicely sherry cask sumptuous drams in this release. Or why not take yourself our of your comfort zone and try something very different with a cheeky wee Millstone. This has been our first international bottling coming all the way from the Netherlands and Zuidam Distillery. I have to say this dram is outstanding and at around £65 in the UK and only around the €60 in Europe you would have to be mad not to have a look at this.
Well with all these superb drams now out there for you to have fun with, last but certainly not least our blended malt Dumbarton Rock 46% is no longer just Dumbarton Rock but it is now the award winning Dumbarton Rock as we now have two medals to pin to the bottle. Now were not getting carried away as they are only two silvers, but everyone need to start somewhere and when you are in a competition the size of the Spirits Competition Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2023 then a silver is a great result for us. The second SILVER award, which followed just a few days later hails from the Polish Spirits Awards Warsaw competition. It is lovely to see all the hard work being recognised, I can tell you!
Oh boy, this is going to take a wee while to run through the last few months as there has been 15 events, both home and abroad (well, mainly abroad) with one that sadly had to be postponed and one that unforgivably I actually forgot! I know, I was so angry at myself and to the ladies of the Pot Still Girls Whisky Club I have a lot making up to do when I see them in February. So, first up and it was right from the get go in September as I headed off for my first ever visit to the wonderful city of Berlin to take part in the Köpenicker Whisky Festival. You just have to love shows that allow masterclasses to be held on a beautiful river cruise boat and what a brilliant festival it was. A massive thanks to all who stopped by to say hello and share a dram or two with us.
Next up after almost 8 hours at home was a train all the way from Dumbarton to Brighton on Englands South coast where I had a tasting for the wonderfully named Cut Your Wolf Loose. Had a cracking time down there but there was no time to relax as first thing the next morning it was back on the train to London City Airport for the start of my flight to Tel Aviv for Whisky Live Israel. Now the one thing I am not going to do is wander into the dangerous world of politics in this newsletter but I just want to say that over the three visits to the beautiful city of Tel Aviv that I have had I have been lucky enough to make a lot of great whisky friends.
On September the 9th I had the pleasure of joining some of our Canadian fans Southern Ontario Sippers albeit on line for a wee Dràm Mòr rum tasting which was a joy and many thanks to the all for taking the time to join me. Our rums are now available in the Kensington Wine Market, which is a great breakthrough for us.
On 22 September, I hit the road again and it was back out to Germany but this time to work with one of my brilliant retailers, Mr Olaf Manns and Mr Paul Becker of Westwood Whiskies who were taking part in the first Bad Homburg Whisky Festival. Have to say I really enjoyed this show and what a lovely town! Right after that, I had to jump over to stunning city of Ghent in Belgium, but not before heading to Casa Number 7 in the town of Turnhout, which was a great night with lots of new friends coming to Dràm Mòr. Now, we earned a full shelf in the store!
First up in October was a home game, well it was in Scotland which doesn’t happen too often so it was off to Inverurie and my good mates at the Inverurie Whisky Shop where we had a cracking night exploring not only some belters of drams but we dipped into the dark side with a rum or two. Many thanks to those who braved what was some pretty terrible weather and a massive thanks to Mike for not only allowing me loose on his customers once again but for putting me up for the night. Cheers ma, pal!
Next up was a trip that has been long overdue. Poland has become a country that is one of my favourite places to visit and work and the whisky drinking community of Poland have always impressed me with their knowledge and passion for our national drink. I was officially there to take part in Whisky Live Warsaw but there was time enough to take a wee detour to the city of Łodz where I had a fantastic night with the Boat City Whisky Club who had the opportunity to be the first ever whisky club that I have ever presented Dràm Mòr to in Poland. I had a marvellous night and many thanks not only to the boys of the club but the brilliant Mikołij Rzeźnik of Unique Spirits. Now, Mikołaj is not only a good friend but is now my distributor in Poland and I am very much looking forward to building our humble brand with him over the in the years to come. Thanks for looking after me so well make but probably best not to mention the state of the hotel room decor in my place!
After this trip, I actually had a wee spell of time back home and as I write I can tell you, much as I love traveling (well, I love being in other places. The actual traveling can go jump!), but there really is no place like home, folks. That said it doesn’t mean the spreading the love of Dràm Mòr doesn’t counting so it was back to the virtually world and a brilliant chat with my old pal Greg Swartz of The Water of Life fame who was kind enough to invite me to take part in his Big Man, Wee Dram podcast, which you can find by following this link. It was great to have that catch up big man and its telling that the two of us were on line for more than an hour after the show finished.
Staying on line and and it was back from the sunny side of Californian life with Greg to the more tepid climes of the Netherlands and a great interview with Mr Max Foxen who runs the brilliant Elements of Whisky where we had a longer than normal talk about all things Dràm Mòr and a good look at Dumbarton Rock. I am actually just listening back to it just now and even with some of the nonsense that I spout it comes over not too badly. If you fancy listening to this episode you will find it here, folks . A massive thanks to Max for giving me the chance to tell our story and for the thoughtful questions that he put to me. Thanks, Max, loved our chat.
On the same day we headed into Glasgow for a wonderful tasting with our old pal Gary ‘Drams’ Dunsire and the lads and lassies of the East City Whisky Club in the stunning surrounds of Hutchisons in the Merchant City. Magic night, folks. Love sharing a dram or six with you folk and I am already looking forward to the next time. Thanks for having me! Only one more to go for this month and as I write it hasn’t happened yet. I will be jetting off once again to Germany to another new venue, Hofheim for their Whisky and Tobacco Days 2023. Shame I am not a cigar smoker but I have to admit to loving the smell so I am sure I will have a great time working with the brilliant team from Prineus, my distributor over there. Looking forward to being back over there, guys.
September saw our old friend Serge Valentin at Whisky Fun reviewing one whisky and one rum from us with the Tullibardine 8 year old Oloroso finish and our delicious young 6 year old Martinique single cask rum falling under his well educated gaze. You can see what he thought here and I can promise we are nothing if not consistent! Not to stop there, however, he also took the time to have a wee look at two very different Glen Garioch expressions that we have released from nearly two years apart, which is a very interesting read.
Another regular contributor is our good friend Neil Murphy who is always honest with his appraisals of our drams, which I am very happy with. Here he has a look at a dram that I absolutely loved, the Benrinnes 10 in refill Bourbon. Have a look at his thoughts here.
Many thanks to both Serge and Neil for taking the time to appraise our whisky. It is very much appreciated.
I am sure that you can only imagine how many social mentions that we have had over a two month period and with my hand on heart I can tell you that Viktorija and I cannot thank all of you enough for the love and support that is shown to us on a daily basis. Not only is it so heartwarming for us to see but when you are such a small business you do so much for us as far as spreading the word of Dràm Mòr all over the world. Please just keep doing what you are doing as it makes a massive difference. As I have been doing over the last year or so I will select some of the posts at random to highlight in this newsletter and as always if you haven’t had a mention it doesn’t mean that you are any less appreciated.
So lets have a look at the lucky few who are getting a mention this time round…
First up its off to Austria where our imposter Whisky Alexandra who was delighted to share her love for Dumbarton Rock with us and included our dram in Austrian Whisky festival. Thanks, Alexandra, and I hope to see you when I visit your beautiful country next year.
Liron Aizik is next up who posted a picture of yours truly in full flow from the masterclass in Tel Aviv. As always with these so called masterclasses I think we laughed more than we drank but that’s exactly how it should be. Thanks again, Liron, and stay safe, my friend.
Its a good pal who will get a mention next and its Jim Schultz of the Helensburgh Whisky Group who, whilst enjoying a dram or two in Óran Mòr posted a wee snap of the delicious Mannochmore which he looks to have enjoyed as much as we did. Cheers, Jim.
Robinesman is up next and its another shout out to the now award winning Dumbarton Rock blended malt. The love that is building for this Dram is getting bigger and bigger.
There was a lovely picture that came through that made both of us truly proud as Tyronestoddart post a snap from his visit to the new and very impressive Port of Leith Distillery. In the background on the bar in the distillery it is easy to see that they are stocking some good stuff as a couple of our bottles can clearly be seen. Superb!
Two to go and the penultimate slot goes to Les Vin Brunin-Guilier who posted a picture of three of our single cask rums that had caught the eye. Many thanks for that.
And last but not least I will leave to a fantastic retailer with a cracking tasting room in the delightful town of Liege in Belgium and its a big thanks to both Jürgen and all the gang at Watch Smell Taste who had 7 drams from Dràm Mòr on offer the other day. Thanks you so much for your continued and very valued support folks.