Hogmanay 2023 Edition
Ok, I know and before you start, please accept my apologies for my absence in the last few months. Without a word of a lie there hasn’t been a single minute of the day that there weren’t two or three things all needing done at the same time. Hence, a very quick round up of what has been a difficult year in general but one that we have come out of the other side of.
First on the agenda is one that I have personally been working on since February, but it has finally come to fruition. Our new blended malt Dumbarton Rock 46% un-chillfiltered is now available in Morrisons supermarket in Dumbarton! The store sit sits right at the foot of Dumbarton Rock (or just the Rock). Please remember that this is not the only place where you can find Dumbarton Rock. Locally, we have the brilliant Stevie’s Drams at Lomond Shores, the Good Spirits in Glasgow and Spirit of Alba in Kirkintiloch.
On the note of Dram Mor, we are very excited to announce that our first order has just left to the USA, so please keep an eye on our social media to hear when it lands and bottles ready for ordering online!
In October, I finally got to return to one of my favourite places, Prague, to attend Whisky Life Prague under our own Dràm Mòr banner. Thanks to the wonderful organisation of my dear friend Ms Mirka Kverková of Fous Spirits, we left after two days of excellent dramming with many more friends than we had when I arrived.
Home from Prague, I tuned into my old pal Zoom for an on line tasting with the wonderful Justine Hazlehurst and the lovely folk from Kask Whisky club. We all had a fabulous night and the vast majority of folk stayed well past our official time to share their thoughts on different drams and catch up on a bit of gossip from the world of whisky. Thanks to all of you for being cracking company as always! Two days later, we connected to our old pals and great supporters, Mr Steve Tan and Mr Andrew Burleigh for another episode of their brilliant podcast Whisky Chat with this particular one being episode 16. Why don’t have a wee look by following the link here add link for pod cast and find out exactly what we were chatting about. Can I just reiterate how much we appreciate all the support that both the lads give us. Means the world, gents!
On 17-19 November, It was time for the last big international whisky festival of the year Den Haag in a beautiful Grote Kerk, the show represented by all your favourite Brand Ambassadors and Distillers from every corner of Scotland and Ireland as well as a few from further afield. You can party here for three days away in the blink of an eye and working with Erik, the brains behind Kintra Spirits, our local distributor, this is one of the key highlights of the year, where we can see our band getting seeded stronger and bolder in the Dutch market.
Back home, it was back to the virtual world and we did a tasting with the enigmatic Mr David Manson of the Ayrshire Whisky Club, where we passed the hours away chatting about all things Dràm Mòr whilst emptying the glasses that were in our hands. Once again we over ran by a fair bit but I enjoyed ever minute of chatting with all of you and again, I am already looking forward to doing this again and if possible, a wee in person night would be fabulous, well for me but maybe not for them as I am harder to mute when I am standing in front of you!
Two down and one to go on my three days of tastings. It was time to head back to the North East and to Aberdeen Whisky Shop for a wee Dràm Mòr night. Now this was the first time that I had the chance to see the new sumptuous surroundings with a lovely, cosy tasting room at the back.
Thanks so much for all who joined me is a walk through 5 single cask whiskies and a wee surprise single cask rum and a massive thanks to the Ladies for looking after me brilliantly. There is a special thanks that has to go out and that’s to my pal Ash who you can see getting a big hug from me bellow.
After 66 flights in 2023, it’s time to sit down and relax for a bit, before 2024 kicks off.
Now this is actually a hard one to write this time round as so many have been written, but it has been weeks and weeks since they were published, so I have picked just a few for you to cast an eye over as I am well aware that this is dragging on a bit.
Firstly, I have to mention a stalwart of Dràm Mòr reviews and that’s Mr Neil Murphy of Whisky Reviews. Another great supporter of everything that Viktorija and I are trying to create; however, the thing that I love about Neil’s reviews I that I am going to get the hard truth when it comes to his thoughts on what we have bottled. No mates reviews here!
It’s funny and I don’t know if you’ll believe me when I tell you this, but our hearts are in our mouth ever time a review comes out, but these reviews are so important to us as it allows us to gauge how others view what we do. After all, your opinion is so much more important than ours at the end of the day and we hope beyond hope that it keeps going in that direction.
Next is a new contributor and it is over to the much warmer climes of Italy and Simon the Whisky Lover who not only gave an honest and frank review our three Christmas releases and filmed his thoughts in English, which is a great thing allowing more audiences in Italy and around the world to see what people in other countries think about our drams. Mr. Burleigh has already been mentioned in the events section, but I had to include his review of our Benrinnes 10 year old Rancio Sec finish. Now when Andrew finishes with the word OBSESSED (actually, in capitals) then I think it has to be worth a mention. Loving the passion here, Andrew!
One more to look at and it is the world renowned Serge Valentin at Whisky Fun who is another viewer who has been gracious enough over the years to review many of our drams with very favourable results. This time he took to opportunity to review our first venture into international whiskies coming from the Zuidam Distillery in the Netherlands. We were so fortunate to visit this great distillery early this year and just had to bottle their spirit after tasting the quality.
I am delighted to say that Serge agreed with us and awarded this 7 year old single cask, cask strength dram a whopping 90/100. You can read his review bellow and if you are too young to know who Frank Zappa is…. Google him! Well, I said one more, but technically as this is also from Serge I am counting it as one. Now I know that he is a big fan of single cask rum so it is always exciting when he looks at one of our rums. This time it was the “amazing Fiji” 8 year old at 62% ( the badly behaved child of Dràm Mòr!). Have a read please here.
There have been many more words written about our bottlings over the last few months but this should give you a taste of what is benign said. The most important thing to remember, however, is that it is only your opinion that matters to you when it comes to the flavours that work for you so why not pick up a bottle of ours and see what you think. I am confident that you won’t be disappointed.
Can you imagine the amount of social mentions that have clicked over since I last wrote? I can tell you that there have been a few and then a few more and so on… As I have been doing over the last few newsletters I am going to pick a handful of these mentions at random but please know that if you have been kind enough to give us a mention on your social media and I haven’t mentioned you it doesn’t mean that ever key hit isn’t appreciated. It absolutely is! Instead of the normal “he’s said this” and “she said that” this time round I would just like to mention a fe won you by name who have said some kind words about us in the last wee while so here goes the role of honour…
Richard Longmuir (Ayrshire Whisky Club)
Mumslockdownmeals (great name by the way!)
Sylvester (my good pal from Island Slice Rum)
Tarabijloo (and her Aunt)
Marcel & Sacha (Whisky Edition)
As mentioned above please don’t feel bad if I have missed you this time round. Your posts really matter and thank you for your kind words. So I think that’s plenty. I hope I have made up for the neglect that I have shown this wee publication over the last wee while and I will do my very best to get back on the horse come January 2024 which is already pretty full when I look at the diary. Gone are the days when the year started with a few months at home. No ‘close season’ for us any more. Still, it’s not a complaint as I am honestly living the dream and I am so grateful for it.
As the year comes to a close can I just extend the warmest and most sincere wishes from both Viktorija and myself to all of you for a healthy, wealthy and happy 2024 and especially for some of you out there who are living through terrible times in countries which are nowhere near as peaceful as the ones that most of us live in and your days are nowhere near as certain, our thoughts are with you and I am sure I am not just talking for the two of us there.
As always it is a pleasure and a privilege to talk to you. Stay safe. Look after each other and when the bells ring in which ever time zone you may be in, raise a glass to those far and near and know that your whisky family are always there if you need them.
Till the next time…
Kenny & Viktorija