Borders Distillery, Scotland’s newest whisky distillery, to open its doors

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L-R: George Tait, Tony Roberts, John Fordyce and Tim Carton

Just north of Scotland’s border with England, near the River Teviot, sits the Scottish town Hawick. Hawick sits in the council area Scottish Borders. Many miles away from Scotland’s major whisky producing areas, notably the distillery dense whisky region Speyside, Scottish Borders’ last distillery is thought to have closed its doors in 1837.

In recent years, distilleries have begun sprouting in Scottish Borders. One is the Kelso Gin Company. The other, which is of more interest to whisky fans, is the Borders Distillery.

Fast forward to 6 March 2018. That day, at precisely 10.11am, new make spirit started to trickle out of a copper pot still under the watchful eye of staff at the Borders Distillery – this marked the first time in about 181 years that new make was produced in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland with a view to making it into whisky (well, legally at least!). Continue reading “Borders Distillery, Scotland’s newest whisky distillery, to open its doors”

Q&A with Manly Spirits Co, producers of Australian gin and “North Fort” Australian whisky

David Whittaker, Manly Spirits Co Founder and Director

The Manly Spirits Co is one of Australia’s newest distilleries, having been established in April 2017.   

The Manly Spirits Co is located in Sydney, Australia. The distillery produces gin and botanical vodka, and it has plans to release “North Fort” Australian whisky in 2018.

In this post, David Whittaker, Co-Founder and Director at Manly Spirits Co, answers my questions about the distillery and its products.   Continue reading “Q&A with Manly Spirits Co, producers of Australian gin and “North Fort” Australian whisky”

Q&A with Cameron MacKenzie, Founder/Distiller at Four Pillars Gin (Yarra Valley, Australia)

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The wineries in Victoria’s Yarra Yalley are known for making some of Australia’s best wine, but nestled somewhere near its picturesque vineyards is the Four Pillars gin distillery. Four Pillars was founded in 2013 by Stu, Matt and Cam, who the distillery describes as “three bald pillars”. While it was only established in 2013, Four Pillars gin has already captured the hearts and taste buds of many in Melbourne.  

Four Pillars main product is its Rare Dry Gin. It also makes a Spiced Negroni Gin, a Barrel Aged Gin and an overproof Navy Strength Gin. But wait, there’s more. Some other releases by Four Pillars include its Modern Australian Gin, Bloody Shiraz Gin, Australian Christmas Gin and Cousin Vera’s Gin.

In this Q&A Cam MacKenzie (“CM”), Founder/Distiller at Four Pillars, answers my questions about Four Pillars and its gin.  Continue reading “Q&A with Cameron MacKenzie, Founder/Distiller at Four Pillars Gin (Yarra Valley, Australia)”

Let’s talk about using SMALL BARRELS to age whisky: Does size matter?

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Casks that are used to mature whisky come in all kinds of sizes – you’ve got 500 litre sherry butts and port pipes, 320 litre puncheons, 250 litre hogsheads, 195 litre bourbon barrels and 80 litre quarter casks, among others. Whisky is usually aged in large casks, and used bourbon barrels are very popular. 

Fill a small barrel with whisky, and there is a greater ratio of wood to whisky than there would be in larger barrels. The more maturing whisky touches the wood surface of oak barrels, the more quickly it can react with the wood and extract its flavours.

Laphroaig Quarter Cask, as the name obviously suggests, is made from whisky that has spent some time aging in quarter casks (after being transferred from standard ex-bourbon barrels). According to Laphroaig, using the smaller casks creates a ‘soft and velvety edge’ in the whisky.

Used correctly, quarter casks can help create great whisky. Laphroaig Quarter Cask is proof of that!

But, can a cask or barrel be too small to age whisky and just make whisky taste “woody” rather than “mature”? Continue reading “Let’s talk about using SMALL BARRELS to age whisky: Does size matter?”

Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2008

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Recommended use: Enjoy neat

Malt Mileage Rating: stars 4.5

Type: Single malt whisky 

Origin: Islay, Scotland 

ABV: 50%

Price: £65

Cask No: 14/098-35

Distilled: 12/2008 

Drawn: 30/9/2014

Continue reading “Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2008”

Chivas Brothers commences production at new Dalmunach distillery

Chivas Imperial_160714_0125Chivas Brothers has now constructed its new Speyside malt whisky distillery, Dalmunach, with production commenting this month in October 2014. Capable of producing up to 10 million litres of spirit per year, Dalmunach is expected to support growing global demand for Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s and Royal Salute.

Dalmunach is Chivas Brothers’ 14th operating malt whisky distillery and it sits on the banks of the River Spey, being aptly named after a nearby pool in the river. It houses eight copper pot stills, with a tulip shape used for the wash stills and an onion shape used for the spirit stills. These replicate those from the Imperial distillery, which was situated on the site until 2012.

Laurent Lacassagne, Chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, comments:

“As global demand for Scotch whisky increases year on year, our confidence in the long-term growth prospects for the category remains strong. The construction of the new Dalmunach distillery is a clear demonstration of our confidence and also of our commitment to invest to meet the significant growth potential.

With their reputation for crafted excellence, our blended whiskies form a key part of the Chivas Brothers portfolio in both emerging economies and mature markets, so we believe the increased capacity which the new distillery will provide will help to drive the business forward in the years to come.”