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Dràm Mòr Whisky Update No. 39

A great big hello to one and all and as always I hope that this finds you in the pink as we charge head long towards spring time and we kiss the long dark nights a not so fond farewell and we dream of warm sunshine and springtime drams.

So what has been happening in the world of Dràm Mòr through the last month?

Shall we have a wee read and find out.

NEWS

First of all, our bran new Spring 2024 Release just about to be out, so keep an eye for more details on our social media. One of our new bottlings is going to be a single cask release from Tamdhu Distillery under Duich batch name. It’s an 8 year old finished in 1st Fill PX hogshead and bottled at 57.2% for maximum flavour experience.

Secondly, we are delighted to announce that we are making a long awaited and very welcome return to the beautiful country of Switzerland with our number one choice of distributor, Best Taste Trading.

Thirdly, tanks to our wonderful new American distributors Howard and Malissa of Scotch Drinkers Only we now have our first US retailer under our belt called First Fill Spirits in Saratoga Springs. Hence, if you are looking for our drams across the water, this is the place to go! It is great to have all of you as a part of the Dràm Mòr story!

EVENTS

In the beginning of March, started with the Austrian adventure (and what an adventure it was and thanks again to my wonderful friends Alexandra and Gerrald for everything!) at Gotzis Whisky Festival, after which we headed to an old favourite festival of ours, the Village Whisky Festival in Nuremberg. As some of you will already know it isn’t just Viktorija and I who head out from our wee group to this show as our Whisky Club (the Mòr Whisky Club) based out of Òran Mór in Glasgow’s West End is formally twinned with Germany’s oldest whisky club which is Nuremberg’s Highland Circle. Not only that but on a much larger scale our two cities are twinned. Apparently bombing the bejesus out of each other makes you great friends (who knew!). This being the case we are luck enough to take a few of the club members of the club out to The Village with us each year. On a personal note  can I just say a massive thanks to Kerry, Andrew and Sylvester for all the hard work that they put in over the weekend at the whisky club stand and all three would be more than welcome to join us again.

Anyhow, whilst they were all having a great time, muggins here was hard at work with all and sundry as we entertained the Franconian public with some great drams culminating in Sundays over subscribed masterclass before a quick dash to the train and off we sped to event number two of this trip, ProWein in Düsseldorf. Now I thought that The Village was a massive show but nothing had really prepared me for the enormity of ProWein. We didn’t see a tenth of what was on offer and speaking for myself my feet and me were not good pals come the end of the day but what a great opportunity to meet some superb contacts and shake hands on a deal or two. So that concludes my German speaking settings for the month but I will be back at it next week but more of that next time round.

Only one more international trip for me over the last four weeks and it was one that was meant to take place in December of last year but thanks to freezing fog in Amsterdam I sat all day in Glasgow Airport only to be sent packing when eventually KLM gave up the ghost and cancelled my flight leaving my good friend Mr Niek Van Duuren of the Eigenaar Charme Hotel Wildthout in the charming Dutch town of Ommen high and dry with 80 odd folk expecting a whisky dinner as part of the prelude to Christmas. There is noting worse than knowing that whither it is your fault or not, you have let someone down and I was gutted to have missed that evening so it was with a skip in my step that I headed out to run the postponed whisky dinner for a room full of whisky enthusiasts with some of the best food that I will eat all year. Thanks for always inviting me back Niek and to all of the wonderful folk that turned out on the night can I just say that it is 100% my pleasure to see all of you every year.

Whisky Dinner Amsterdam

When back home, it was time buckling up in the car and the long 4 hour drive to the Highland Capital, Inverness for a long awaited tasting in The Malt Rooms. A massive thanks to Duncan, Malcolm and all the team and guests that joined me on the night as we worked our way through 6 delicious single cask drams of ours. Delighted to say that we now have more friends than we had before. I really enjoyed this one and I am already looking forward to the next chance to head up to one of my favourite cities. Thanks, Inverness! Just one thing… don’t park under a tree up there.  Don’t think it was seagulls decorating the car but to be honest I think they’ve trained cows to climb trees! What a mess! So that was the travels for March, which once again saw the air miles go up and the clock on the car ticking away nicely. Back on the road soon but that’s for another day….

REVIEWS

It’s funny how that when a good few months go by after a release of new drams the reviews, as you would expect dry up a wee bit but then suddenly, out of the blue there are a plethora of new reviews drop out of the sky and that’s what this month has brought to us. These have all come from the usual suspects but that is exactly the way we would hope to read reviews of our humble drams. First up is our old mate Neill Murphy who was kind enough to cask an eye over a couple of our drams in his excellent Whisky Reviews series. Two very different drams were on his menu as he tackled the Tullibardine 8 year old which was short finished in Pedro Xemines  Sherry and the wonderful Benrinnes 12 year old finished lovingly in the artisan wine, Rancio Sec. You can read Neil’s thoughts here.

Next up we head to another reviewer who has been kind enough to include some of our drams in their reviews and its the fabulous Whisky Fun and the educated taste buds of Mr. Angus McRaid at Whisky Fun who was tantalising his palate with a selection of Highland Park independent bottlings. We were delighted to see that our 14 year old which was up there with most of the bottles that he judged and even better to see that the finish that we did seamlessly interacted into the profile of the spirit. It is always such an honour to be judged by people from your industry that you know and trust so many thanks, Angus.

It’s over to YouTube next and a name that will be no stranger to any of you out there and it is the review Guru who is Ralfy who took a very in-depth look at our delicious Inchad 16 year old PX finish. Now I love peat and sweet in a dram and I always feel like this is a balance that ticks the box in the best of ways but who better to tell us about it than Ralfy himself. Why don’t you join him and his malt mates and hear his thoughts here. Can I just add that the comments on mentioning both unchillfiltered and natural colour will be taken on board in the future although we are just too late for the Spring outturn. I love constructive criticism Ralfy, so many thanks for helping us see what we could be doing better. As always there were others out there who were kind enough to cask an eye over our drams and I cannot thanks all of you enough for taking the time to review our spirits.

To each and every one of you a massive thanks!

SOCIALS

As with every edition of my rambling nonsense we finish with what the social network platforms have been saying. To some of you out there this section that my well seem a bit pointless but for us it is so important because at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter what we think of the spirit that we have bottled. All that really matter is what you fine folk think. We could be bottling what we think is the best of the best every single day in life but if you wonderful people don’t want our whisky then what’s the point so the chance to mention a few of you ever month is a pleasure and a privilege for me. With that in mind its over to you, lads and lassies, to hear your thoughts…

First to appear in this months hall of fame are our pals from Inverurie Whisky Shop, who took a step out of their comfort zone to showcase the stunning Armagnacs that we bottled last year from Château De Bordeneuve and Baron De Sigognac. Thanks to Mike and the team for the continued support and I hope it’s not too long before I see you again. It’s over to Inside Whisky next who were lucky enough to get their hands on the above mentioned Benrinnes Rancio Sec. Lucky you that somehow you managed to enjoy it in the sunshine. I know… what’s sunshine again? It’s a first next up as we celebrate our first American social shout out (to my knowledge) and many thanks go to HJ, who sent a picture to our distributors at Scotch Drinkers Only, where alongside our stablemate Cree, our Speyside in a gentle PX finish was featured.

Dram Mor Speyside

Belgium next (not been there for way too long. I miss Belgium!) and its a blast from the past as one of my favourite rums that we’ve bottled, the Uitvlugt 24 year old single cask, cask strength bottle popped up again thanks to Care for Craft Spirits. Many thanks folks! I’m not going OTT on the socials this month, mainly as I have a mountain of work to get on with as our Spring release is being bottled as I write (guess what’s going to be number one in News next month?), so just one more this month and its a great big thanks to my great pal Mirka Kverková over at Fous Spirits in the Czech Republic who shared our cracking Macduff 9 year old, 58% sherry butt matured dram. A proper “old school” whisky that you just don’t see any more. Thanks, Mirka. You’re a gem!

And so once again it’s time for me to give the keyboard a rest and sign off on what was another fun filled month in the story of Dràm Mòr. Loads to talk about in the next edition and we are only a few days in. New bottles, new trips and new friends await but as you all know it would be so hollow without all of you coming along on the journey with us. There are times in life where you really just want to sit back and soak it all in and that’s when I will realise what an incredibly lucky man I am. That said, when the hell am I going to get the time to do that! Until the next time my friends, be safe, look out for one another and take time to switch off a wee bit and savour a right good dram when you get the chance.

Slàinte!

Kenny

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