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Dràm Mòr Whisky Update No. 41

Hello, everybody. Hope this finds you all well and that some of you at least are starting to enjoy a wee splash of sunshine in your lives. Over here on the Clydeside there has been much more splash and nowhere near enough sunshine but that’s the story of our lives. It has been yet another busy month for Viktorija and I what with the Spring Release 2024 hitting the shelves and plenty more travels over the month, so lets have a wee look back at the month that was…

Pitilie 9 year Old Single Malt

NEWS

The news over the last month has been dominated with, as you would expect, the Spring Release which is dwindling away like you wouldn’t believe. I am happy to say that most of our main markets now have these drams in stock and they are flying off the shelves. In face two thirds of the release is now completely sold out with Aberfeldy Pitilie, Benrinnes Palo Cortado, Tamdhu Duich and Jura gone. The feedback that we have had from these delicious drams has been exceptional and we thank each of our distributors and retailers for their continued support. We also have a new retailer to welcome and it’s the beautiful Wholly Spirits in Zottegem, Belgium. Now the store has stocked some of our rum in the past but this will be the first time they have taken our whisky and there are plans afoot to hold a tasting in their brilliant tasting room later in his year so watch this space. Many thanks to Bart for showing faith in us and we look forward to a long and prosperous working relationship.

Wholly Spirits Zottegem, Belgium

Last two bits of news was that we featured on one of our furthest flung whisky festivals with Dràm Mòr appearing for the first time at the Seol Bar Show in South Korea. Delighted to see a new audience enjoying our drams! As of May 2024, our drams are also available in the border shops of Uruguay and Brazil.

Seol Bar Show, South Korea

EVENTS

There was a little mix of home and away over the last month with the Netherlands and Belgium sharing equal billing with some closer to home domestic work for a wee change. First up it was the Netherlands. Night one took us to the town of Boekelo and the wonderful shop of Gebotteld. A massive thanks to those who joined me on the night as we took a trip through all things Dràm Mòr. Night number two saw us travel a fair distance across the country too just south of Rotterdam and the beautiful canal lined town of Oud-Beijerland and the impossible to pronounce Drankenwinkeltje. Ain’t Dutch such an incredible language? This was such an enjoyable night and all the more so as I wasn’t even meant to be there. A massive thanks to Sebastiaan and Monique from Gobottled and to John and Marieke for looking after me so well and of course to my mate Mr Erik Molenaar of Kintra Spirits for making it all happen.

Boekelo Whisky Shop

Next one up was a home game and it was a much more personal one as our Whisky

Club based in Òran Mór in Glasgow hit a grand milestone hitting our tenth anniversary. Not much to do with Dràm Mòr to be fair as I had that tasting in April but I just wanted to mark the occasion so that’s that. A day to recover from our big birthday club night and it was back on the road as I headed out for my first visit to Belgium this year. Two wonderful tastings followed in the quite incredible wine and spirit shop TasTToe in the town of Boortmeerbeek. This place is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of a place and is among a handful of retailers out there who have shown great support to Viktorija and I. Speaking of the “handful” I didn’t manage to get out and about to see some of these wonderful retailers such as Johnas in Whisky Barn, Peter in Prima Vinum, Peter in Casa Number 7 and Guy at Rumology. All great venues and we are lucky to be on their shelves.

Whisky Shop

One big apology to one person that we didn’t get to see and that is the wonderful Ivo Drabs from Wine 4 You who has been a great supporter over the years. I will make sure to pop in next time Ivo. So, back to TasTToe and Friday night saw me tackle a job which always makes me a wee bit nervous…a rum tasting for rum geeks! Now being a whisky geek I have the utmost respect for these guys but they scare the hell out of me what with the depth of knowledge that they have compared to me so I always start a tasting like that by introducing myself as Kenny Macdonald, Whisky guy! That said the boys who braved some of the worst rain in years (and that’s coming from a Scotsman) were brilliant and we had a smashing night with a good few bottles making there way back home with the lads. Saturday was a different approach for me as it was like a mini festival meets an in store pour as I set up to welcome guests throughout the day who could sample from a very wide range of our drams. I really enjoyed this day and the format and sales on the day were superb. A massive thanks to all who came to see me and there were a few old friends among those who came along, as well as all the boys at TasTToe and of course Jürgen for  organising things so well. See you all again soon I hope.

Kenny Macdonald

So (for now and in a work basis only) it was time to put the passport away for a wee while and the chance to spend some time at home with Viktorija. Well, I say spending time at home… Just because I’m not on a plane doesn’t mean that I am not on the move and such was the case as I crammed the car full of cases of whisky and headed West to one of my favourite places, Islay. Now for those of you who have never had the chance to visit this idilc island perhaps the best time to go isn’t the last week in May as durning this week its Fèis íle time. One of the biggest and best whisky festivals in the world with each distillery on the island having its own open day. It is a blast to say the least although I am sure many folks livers would disagree come the end of the week long party. Unfortunately for this hard working old man I only get a flying visit to Fèis and it’s for Indy Bottlers day at Ramsey Hall in Port Ellen. I attended my first Indy Bottlers day run extremely well by Bruce Farquhar of Dramfool last year and what a great show it was what with the chance to sell direct to our adoring public straight from the stand. I am delighted to say that sales were about 30% up on last year and the tonne weight of whisky that trundled down the road with me didn’t see the trip back. It was so good to see so many old friends which is always a guarantee at Fèis as well as making a good few new friends and a massive thanks has to go out to Sabine and the lads of the Capital Whisky Club from London who were so kind and gave me a roof over my head and fed and watered me for the couple of nights I was there (well, when I say water…). So another Fèis done and dusted, but I am already making plans for next year.

Whisky Feis

One last event to cover from May and it is a bit of a throw back as I revert to that old friend, Zoom. Over lockdown the East City Whisky Club run by my mate Gary Dunsire took to the virtual world to keep their love of all things whisky alive throughout the dark days of Covid. Now obviously we are free to enjoy life the old fashioned way but Gary now has members from far afield so it is easier to go on line to share a dram with these wonderful folk. It’s one of these tastings that you know will be finished by 21:30 but you will still be nattering at 00:00 and such was the case here as we all had a right good time catching up over a dram or six. Many thanks Gary for getting this going for me and a massive thanks as always to all the gang who joined in. And that brings the months events to a halt. Another busy month but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

REVIEWS

When a new release comes out it normally takes a wee bit of time before the bloggers and reviews get around to sampling and reviewing our drams but Mr Valentin of Whisky Fun was straight out of the blocks with a wee review of our Tamdhu Duich. For those who are a little bewildered with the Duich name this is a trade name used by Tamdhu but the juice is very much what you would expect from Ian Macleod’s classic Speyside distillery. Now I already know that Serge has a soft spot for our drams but he always tells it like it is so if there is something that’s not right in his opinion he will be quick to tell you, that’s for sure! You can see what Serge thought here and can I just say with a big smile on my face, we scored higher than the official Tamdhu bottling he reviewed.

Duich 8 Year old Single Malt

Whisky Cellar Germany are next up and they kindly cast an eye over a dram that has had everyone who has tried it talking and that is the Benrinnes finished in Rancio Sec wine. Now as far as we can tell (and if I am wrong please let me know) we are the only whisky company ever to use a Rancio Sec cask for either maturation or finishing and with a short 3 month finish this dram is like nothing you have had before but don’t take my word for it, here is our Germany friends thought on the link above. For those of you ,and I am guessing that this will be most of you who haven’t a clue what Rancio Sec is here is a wee step by step guide to bring enlightenment into your lives. One more for this month and and its over to Sjoerd in the Netherland and Malt Fascination who after seeing Ralfy’s wonderful review of the Inchfad 16 year old he knew that he just had to try for himself. Think it seemed to go down pretty well!

SOCIALS

And so to the keyboard battalion who every month are kind enough to show their appreciation of all things Dràm Mòr by posting their pictures and thoughts with us. There is honestly nothing better than seeing that you have put a smile on someones face with that little bit of liquid gold that we bottle so here are just a few this month as, truth be told I am gearing up to vanish for a wee while to Germany to follow Scotland at the Euros (wish us luck!)

Let’s kick off with my old pals in the world famous Pot Still in Glasgow who were very happy with the new toys that I dropped into the bar. To be far I am at least as happy as they are as I love to see our bottles in there even if they don’t always last too long. Next its a big thanks to John who shared how much the enjoyed our wee tasting at Drankenwinkeltje. It really was a cracking night and I would love to do it again one day! Staying in the Netherlands and its another big thank you to Ruben Kupers who was kind enough to post some lovely comments from the tasting the night before.

Pot Still Glasgow

Staying in the flat lands its over to my mate Bart Vyvermans who looked like life was treating him very well indeed with a dram in his hand and his feet up, a beautiful night and a crackling fire. Magic! Jumping next door to Belgium we have the marvellous Geert Ros who was working our rums to the max. We are so so luck to have Geert and his brilliant wife Claudine helping spread the word in Belgium. One last one this month and I think it is a story of hope and good news so over to Mr. Vladimir Polinovskyi in Ukraine. Now many of you will know that I have worked many times in Ukraine and I have many friends in that beautiful country which as we all know is still under attack by their gangster next door neighbours. It was lovely to see that, no matter what there is still time for the finer things in life as a wee Ruadh Maor 10 year old in white port was being savoured. Mr Polinovskyi, we al wish you peace and happiness, my friend. I will raise a glass to your victory.

Ruadh Mahor

So that’s a fond farewell to May and head long into June. Germany is going to take a wee bit of time and with any luck we might need to extend our stay but only time will tell. All going to plan I will be holding a tasting in Cologne the night before the Swiss game (18th June). Poor Viktorija will be holding the fort back here working her fingers to the bone (as normal), so things will be moving on as normal. In but a few short weeks you will be getting a full support when I get back but until then and as always, take care. Be safe and always keep an eye out for those who might need a hand or maybe just someone to share a dram with.

Slàinte!

Kenny

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