Sunday, September 6, 2015

List of Active Scottish Malt Whisky Distilleries

It is often discussed how many working distilleries there is in Scotland

116 according to this list:

Distilleries that have bottled something:

1 Aberfeldy
2 Aberlour
3 Abhainn Dearg
4 Allt-a-Bhainne
5 Ardbeg
6 Ardmore
7 Arran
8 Auchentoshan
9 Auchroisk
10 Aultmore
11 Balblair
12 Balmenach
13 Balvenie
14 Benriach
15 Benrinnes
16 Benromach
17 Ben Nevis
18 Bladnoch
19 Blair Athol
20 Bowmore
21 Braeval
22 Bruichladdich
23 Bunnahabhain
24 Caol Ila
25 Cardhu
26 Clynelish
27 Cragganmore
28 Craigellachie
29 Dailuaine
30 Dalmore
31 Dalwhinnie
32 Deanston
33 Dufftown
34 Edradour
35 Fettercairn
36 Glenallachie
37 Glenburgie
38 Glencadam
39 Glendronach
40 Glendullan
41 Glenfarclas
42 Glenfiddich
43 Glengarioch
44 Glenglassaugh
45 Glengoyne
46 Glengyle
47 Glenkinchie
48 Glenlivet
49 Glenlossie
50 Glenmorangie
51 Glenrothes
52 Glentauchers
53 Glenturret
54 Glen Elgin
55 Glen Grant
56 Glen Keith
57 Glen Moray
58 Glen Ord
59 Glen Scotia
60 Glen Spey
61 Highland Park
62 Inchgower
63 Isle of Jura
64 Kilchoman
65 Kininvie
66 Knockando
67 Knockdhu
68 Lagavulin
69 Laphroaig
70 Linkwood
71 Loch Lomond
72 Longmorn
73 Macallan
74 Macduff
75 Mannochmore
76 Miltonduff
77 Mortlach
78 Oban
79 Old Pulteney
80 Royal Brackla
81 Royal Lochnagar
82 Scapa
83 Speyburn
84 Speyside
85 Springbank
86 Strathisla
87 Strathmill
88 Talisker
89 Tamdhu
90 Tamnavulin
91 Teaninich
92 Tobermory
93 Tomatin
94 Tomintoul
95 Tormore
96 Tullibardine

Distillleries that haven't bottled a 3 year old yet

97 Ailsa Bay
98 Annandale
99 Arbikie
100 Ardnamurchan
101 Ballindalloch
102 Daftmill
103 Dalmunach
104 Eden Mill
105 Glasgow Distilling Co.
106 Isle of Harris
107 Kingsbarns
108 Roseisle
109 Strathearn
110 Wolfburn


111 Cameron Bridge
112 Girvan
113 Invergordon
114 North Britisg
115 Starlaw
116 Strathclyde

The Joker

??? Loch Ewe

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bourbon versus Single Malt. What's the difference ?

 Whisky is a catagory of spirit. It's a very popular drink.But also a historical spirit, which, roughly said has developed in 4 countries. Ireland, USA, Canada and Scotland. Each of these countries have developed their own style of whisky and their own traditions of distilling and producing whisky. Today whisky is made in a majority of the countries of the planet earth. Together with the 4 mentioned countries above, Japan is also a major producer of whisky.

 Whisky is shortly spoken a spirit distilled from beer. Or more precise. It has to be made from grains. Grains is a specific type of plant. Barley, wheat, corn, rice, rye. oats. Google it if you want to know more.

 Any country or region that produces a popular high quality product will eventually protect it. This happens for a couple of reasons. A region usually wants to make sure there is some sort of elevated standards of it's product. You also want to make sure noone else copies your product and label it as your product. This is why champagne has to be made in Champagne, cognac in Cognac, and this is why we can't label the feta cheese we produce in Denmark as "feta" but use "salad cheese".
 This is also why Champagne has to made in a certain way. It's all the same with cognac, bourbon and scotch single malt. These are regulated and protected products. You can't make it everywhere, and if you make it you have to make it a certain way. There is a desire to make sure that champagne tastes like champagne and bourbon tastes like bourbon

 In this blog post I will look at the difference between bourbon and single malt whisky, and more precise, the difference between single malt whisky from Scotland and bourbon from Kentucky

Both are a subcatagory of whisky. Both are regulated by local authrities. Bourbon is an american spirit. You can't make bourbon outside USA. Actually you can, but you can't label it bourbon. It's a protected label.
 Inside USA there is regulated subcatagories of Bourbon. Straight Bourbon, Kentucky Bourbon, Tennessee Whisky just to mention three

Malt whisky is made in many countries. But for it to be labeled "scotch", it has to be made in Scotland

For those interested, here are the main regulations for bourbon and scotch whisky

If you can't be bored to read the content of these links I will emphasize the more important parts below.

And. There is more to this than just these regukations, but those link will gives us a pretty good picture of what allows one whisky to be labeled as a bourbon and another whisky to be labeled as a Scotch Single Malt.

But as said, there is more to the differences than just regulations. Climate, enviroment and traditions are just as important.

Most of the regulations is actually traditions made rules. Just to make sure that bourbon tastes like bourn. And scotch single malt tastes like scotch single malt

Bourbon and scotch single malt tastes different. Quite a lot actually. Here is some of the major production differences between bourbon and scotch single malt and I hope it will give you an idea why they are two very different kinds of whisky

1. Ingredients


All malt whisky is made from the same ingredient. Malted barley. There is not much difference from one distillery to another. Over the years, the variety of barley can change, that's about it. Grain varieties change as new better yielding varities is developed. It can be better yield for the farmer and better yield in the brewing/distilling process. Some varities can be disease resistant, but as diseases mutates this ability can be lost. At any given time, the distilleries in Scotland uses the same few varities of barley with a very few rare exceptions, as when Bruichladdich made a malt whisky from bere barley

But for this discussion you can say that all malt whisky is made from the same basic ingredient. Malted barley. With a very few exceptions, I guess roasted barley can be included here.

The one major difference in the barley used for single malt is the phenol content. Barley has to be dried after malting and if you use peat as fuel the peat smoke will induce the barley with a smoky flavor. The more peat you use, the smokier the whisky you will get in the end. By mixing barley that has been peat smoked and barley that hasn't you can customize the peat level of your basic ingredient.


Bourbon is made from a mix of grains. The composition of grains is called the mash bill. At least 51% in a bourbon mash bill has to be corn, the rest is usually rye and barley or wheat and barley.Everything written here about bourbon, could be said about rye whisky as well, rye is made from a mash bill of at least 51% rye.

The importance here, is that two different mashbill will give you two different whiskies. Corn will add sweetness, rye spicyness and wheat a soft toffee creaminess.

The difference

In Scotland they work with the peat level when designing the whisky. In Kentucky it's the mashbill

2. Yeast


In Scotland industrial yeast is used, with a few different plants supplying all distilleries


Most, if not every distillery, have their own propriatery yeast which they guard and cultivate as the soul of the whisky and the distillery. One distillery even have five specific strains of yeast. That's Four Roses, With 2 mashbills and 5 yeasts Four Roses makes 10 different bourbons, each with their own flavour profile. Some distilleries secure they yeast strains in several places and on several continents just to make sure it's not lost.

The difference

In Scotland the yeast is something you add to make whisky. In Kentucky, the specific yeast used in the distillery is an essential part of the distillery's identity

3. The stills


In Scotland, single malt whisky is distilled in pot stills, usually in a set of two stills. The shape of the stills from one distillery to another varies a lot and has impact on the flavour. The shape of the stills affects the reflux in the distilling. Taller stills give you more reflux, but there are several different kind of other designs on the stills that can increase reflux. The more reflux, the lighter a spirit


Most bourbons are produced on a column still followed by a doubler. The shape of these are not a big factor of the final taste of your bourbon. If any factor at all. Woodford reserve do have pot stills that looks like the one you see in Scotland, but I wonder how much of the Woodford Reserve you see in the bottle have actual been through one of these?

The difference

Still design plays are more important rule in the production of single malt whisky than with bourbon

4. The casks and barrels


All kinds of casks are used. Fresh virgin oak, ex-bourbon, ex-rum, ex-sherry, ex-wine, ex-port, ex-madeira, ex-marsala, ex-beer. And then used again, and again and again. Some whisky are matured on one type of casks and then transfered to another type for a short or maybe even longer period. As most of the flavour of a whisky comes from the cask, all these different casks types will result in very different whiskies.


All bourbon must be matured on fresh oak. When it comes to barrels and casks, bourbon producers have a lot less strings to pull compared to other kinds of whisky. So basically all kinds of bourbon has been matured on the same kind of casks. I know this is a simplified view as the barrels can be differed by oak type, char level and you can even find bourbon finished in ex-sherry or ex-port casks. But the variation from cask type is no way on the same level as you see with other kind of whiskies

The difference

Single Malt is using a lot of different casks types, bourbon, just one

5. Climate and the warehouse location

Scotland and Kentucky

The climate of Scotland and the climate in Kentucky is different. Kentucky is hot in summer, and cold in the winter. The temperature differences is less in Scotland. Scotland is also very wet and humid, so water tends to stay in the casks better than in Kentucky, where barrels can loose more water than alcohol. This results is the alcohol strength going up in some barrels in Kentucky as the whisky matures

The microclimate inside the warehouses are also a lot more important in Kentucky than in Scotland. Both in Scotland and in Kentucky they see whisky maturing different from warehouse to warehouse and especially in Kentucky, from the specific location within the warehouse. It's not unusual that some brands of bourbon are drawn from specific warehouse locations

Warehouse location and designs plays a lot bigger role for bourbons than for single malt. Both in Kentcuky and in Scotland there is different designs of warehouses, all affecting the whiskies maturing inside. Especially the giant warehouses that a lot of Kentucky distilleries do use have an important microclimate where one barrel location differs a lot from another

So what makes a Bourbon different from other bourbons? Mashbill, yeast and warehouse location are three important factors

And what makes a Single Malt different than other single malts? Peat level, pot still design and cask type are the major factors here

Beside this, all distilleries, both Kentucky and Scotland have a number of other factors they can work with. Fermentaion time, toast/char level of casks, and the number of years a whisky is matured, just to mention a few

The water from Kentucky is different than scottish water. Kentucky water is hard limestone water. In Scotland you see both soft water, which is most common, but also hard water. So within Scotland itself there is differences between the water from one distillery to another. I have heard many different opinions about the importance of the water source over the years. Or how not important the water source is. I will leave this discussion to others

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Feis Ile 2015

I am just back from my first Feis Ile.

You can skip to the bottom for a review of the 2 rarest Feis Ile bottlings

I have been to Islay a few times before, and I must admit that after a few days I usually get cabin fever. This year I decided to go to Islay for twice the length of time I usually stayed there. So I was a bit worried

And this time I also didn't stay in one of the major urban hubs as I usually do. Before I stayed in Port Charlotte, Bowmore or Port Ellen

This time I stayed in a cottage 2 miles outside Port Ellen

But it's hard to get cabin fever on Islay during Feis Ile. It's a bit more crowded than usual. The Island is loaded with happy whiskyentusiast. This is what makes the festival what it is.

It's an 8 days festival. Every distillery has their own "Open Day". This also includes Jura who shares its day with Kilchoman.

The biggest problem with Feis Ile is accomodation and event tickets in my opinion. Accomodation must usually be sorted a year in advance, if not earlier if you want a specific place. Event tickets sell out too fast online, so if you don't sit in front of a PC 24-7 you won't get any. Not for the good events. The Islay distilleries should look to Campbeltown to see how this is done. They just set up more similar events when things sell out. On Islay you need to be fast, lucky or know someone.

The different Open Days are somewhat similar . There's a bit of music, quite a bit of whisky, the same seafood shack, and a lot of queues. Especially for bottlings.

I managed to get to Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bruichladdich, Caol Ila and Ardbeg Open Days. I visited Bunnahabhain and Jura outside the open days and also had a tour at Port Ellen maltings.

Lagavulin Warehouse tour

I did the Lagavulin Warehouse tour twice. It's one of the best distillery events to do, and you can do it outside the festival as well. This is a must for all whiskyfans. Iain McArthur does a cracking job presenting a handful cask samples

Here is my short review of the five Open Days

Free whisky, Lagavulin 16yo and Lagavulin DE to be tried. A fun blind tasting competion where you had to guess age on three cask samples as well. There was a long queue for buying bottles and no queue for being served whisky, so there is no price guessing where I was :-)

Caol Ila
Similar style as Lagavulin.Well organised. Big thumbs up to Diageo for their two open days

Another great event. They hosted a big array of "Pick and Mix" tastings lasting twenty minutes. There was tickets enough, as far as I could see. I came down late and still got a ticket for one of the ones I wanted. It was three whiskies with the theme 2015. It was the Cairdeas 2015, The new 15yo and the upcoming 21yo. Three magnificient whiskies and that's for just a tenner. I should have come earlier

Many small fun events all over the distillery. People were throwing sheep, dipping their hand in a barrel ofsheep shit for a lottery to aee what they could find. Vaporized whisky, Ardbeg museum, food stalls, music, several themed bars and loads of Ardbeg whisky

Very crowded, You paid to get in. 5£, but that entitled you to one free dram whisky. Weather was not the best, but not too bad either. This was my least favourite event, probably because I had to drive home...

I went to their events the day before the open day. Great they decided to offer events on other days so it was possible to get in and do something there. I did a boat trip where we tried a few of the current Jura's, and a beer/whisky tasting that was great fun. I was especially fond of the Jura Tastival beer made by Drygate. Lucky to taste that one, only 500 bottles. Jura also had a bar where you could taste some of their whiskies, including their festival bottling

I did a warehouse tour outside their festival, but there was a chance to get some BYO whisky from their new warehouse setup and that was great whisky. 3 casks to choose from, with 20cl bottlings

I think most distilleries sold one or more special festival bottlings. Some were cheap, some where expensive, Some were good, some were not. My favourites were the Laphroaig Cairdeas and the Laphroaig 15yo. The latter isn't really a Feis Ile bottling, but a special one-off to celebrate Laphroaig 200 years 1815-2015. The Cairdeas is made 100% from floor malted barley and they didn't use their big spirit still in the production but a balanced distillation of their other 6 stills. That means they paired the three wash stills with the three spirit stills.

I wasn't a big fan of Ardbeg Perpetuum which I found added nothing to their current lineup and I didn't like the Bruichladdich Open Day bottling. The Caol Ila and Lagavulin was basically their DE versions aged for about 7-8 more years in inactive (their own words) Puncheons and were good drams. I also had a wee sip of the Bowmore Virgin Oak, which I really liked, The Jura tastival was also a good one. Especially if you like Jura whisky in general and the style of Whyte and Mackay malt whiskies.

The worst thing on Islay is probably the lack of good beer. I am not a big fan of Islay Ales and not much exciting goes on beer wise on the island otherwise. At Ardbeg they had Beck's and Miller's, it's a bit like if the Brewdog bars only sold Bell's in their pubs

Highlight was, as mentioned above, the beer tasting at Jura, and then cleaning out the Coop's for good beers. Which I wasn't the only one doing. The good shelves were usually empty or almost empty at most times. Whiskyentusiasts love their good beer for sure. Luckily we stocked up on good beers at Loch Fyne Ales on the way over, but that stock dissapeared to fast really

The distilleries wasn't the only ones bottling special Feis Ile bottling. SMWS and Douglas Laing both had special Feis Ile bottling out

1. SMWS 3.243
Bowmore 17yo 57.1%
Dark, Smouldering Flamenco Gypsy

Photo by J. Hamilton

Bowmore's are hit and miss for me. The further away from the eigthies they are distilled the bigger chance for a hit. This was distilled 25 Spetember 1997 and bottled April 2015. This whisky is warm, gentle, sherried, quite peaty, floral and very drinkable. There is a hint of lavenders growing on a bed of newly molten lava in there. It has a major sherry influence, licorise especially, and a long finish

Rating 88/100

2. Old Particular Laphroaig
Feis Ile 2015 14yo 48.4%
Douglas Laing

Photo stolen from DL facebook page

As expected for a Laphroaig this punches a lot of peat. This is bottled at around the same strength as Ardbeg Perpetuum. It has a little more oomph though. It resulsts in a tender and flavourful whisky. Beneath the peat, there is a lot of wood-cinnamon like spices, some citrus and vanilla. Easy drinking peated whisky, quite complex with a lot of flavours and with a medium-long vanilla-peaty finish

Rating 88/100

I would like to thank the deerhunter(s) for the samples

But the best thing at Feis Ile is all the whiskyentusiast present. They really makes this festival great. I will say I LOVE you all for making this a great week and for all the good whisky you decided to share with me

A sunny day at Caol Ila

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Benromach 10 100 proof versus Benromach 10 43%

Benromach 10 43%

The nose is sweet, slightly peaty, slight old school rubber, the palate is rich and sweet, the rubber is more in the texture than in the taste.Quite oily, the sweetness could be from port casks.

A nice dram, that has a lot to offer compared to other 10 and 12 year old standard bottlings from around Scotland

Score 86/100

Benromach 10 100 proof

This is 100 british proof, so 57.1%

A bit similar to the 43%, but a lot drier. I like the fact that it's not as sweet as the 43%. The peat, and the rubber texture is still there, but not as much as in the 43%. This whisky is very old school and reminds me of what I drank and tasted when i started up with whisky. Basically sweet, more sherryish than port, hint of peat and the finish is long, sweet and old school

This weirdly reminds me of sixities dumpy Cadenhead and Bowmore, I bet if you leave this in the bottle for 30 years you get something very special

Score 89/100

Drinking these gave me the idea that the new Benromach will be magnificient when it reaches 15-18 years. Both of these are tasty complex whiskies, and aimed more for the experienced demanding entusiasts than the casual drinker. The earthy, oily and sweet notes reminds me of old school whisky

Monday, April 6, 2015

Danish Whisky Blog Awards 2014

Distillery of the Year


Bung hole sniffer spotted at Deanston

The last 3 or 4 times I have visited Scotland, Deanston Distillery has been the most popular distillery in my groups when it comes to amount of bottles purchased. It's a distillery not on the radar of most entusiasts and that's a shame

The distillery itself is very interesting to visit as it is quite different to other distilleries. The buildings used to host a cotton mill, but was rebuilt into a distillery in 1966. The distillery also produces it's own power. It's a waterturbine where water from the river Teith is giving it's powerful contribution to the whisky lovers

Beside the interesting tour, the distillery buildings, which may not qualify as the most pretty in Scotland is situated in a very beautiful spot on the river bank. They do have bottle your own whisky available and usually there is a special bottling available as well if you are lucky. It may be a festival bottling or the latest batch of Deanston Toasted Oak. Especially the Toasted Oak has been a major hit in our group. Beide a range of tours, there is a shop and nice cafe. The only thing I miss on the tour is the guide opening a cask and giving us a wee taster

Independent Bottler of the Year

Smooth Ambler

Smooth Ambler is a distillery in east West Virginia. It is very limited what they have bottled from their own production still. When it comes to whisky that is. But until they are having aged stock from their own distillery they have set up a very succesful independent bottling range called Smooth Ambler Old Scout. Beside being totally open about this as sourced whisky (which not everyone sourcing whisky in the states is) they also manage to bottle a range of excellent and well vatted bourbon and ryes. And these are available in Denmark as well. The whisky is sourced from the distillery in Indiana that someone need to name. But it is usually referred to as MGP or LDI. Some of the whisky is also originating from Four Roses, probably barrels left by Seagram's in Indiana. This is the whisky of today that people will regret not have bought in five years. Unless you bought some off course

Bottling of the Year

SMWS 39.97 
23yo distilled 1990 45.7%

My whisky of the year. It has to be something good, I purchased a bottle and it have to be bottled in 2014 (or late 2013). At least it has to be something I got my hands on in 2014.

This is from Linkwood

The nose is delicate and fruity. I am talking apple and pears here. It's one of those whiskies where you can nose and dream away forever. The whisky itself is quite woody, maybe too much for some but I like this profile. It's a little bit weird whisky, it's delicate on the first taste but woody on the finish.  The whisky changes like a snap when I drink it. 

Easydrinking, complex, and my impression from when I first tasted this, was that this tasted like good whisky used to taste before the (whisky)world went crazy.. This has been the highest scoring whisky from all over blind tasting runs we have done (and that made it to a blog post, not all did)

Score 90/100

Tasting of the year

Cadenhead tasting at the Malts of Campbeltown whiskyfestival.
With Mark Watt and Grant Macpherson

In 2014 I went to the festival in Campbeltown. That was a very positive surprise. There were tours, tasting and events covering all three Campbeltown distilleries and also tasting and warehouse-tours with Cadenheads. My two favourite tastings were the Cadenheads warehouse tasting and the Cadenhead tasting. The Cadenhead tasting was presented by Grant Macpherson and Mark Watt in a very good shape. The first dram up was a blind, which caught quite a few. It was the delicious bourbon from Heaven Hill. Aged for 17 years and in Scotland since 2015. It was a cask sample but it was bottled just a couple of months later. In the tasting were a range of Cadenhead bottlings, including the very good Tomatin 1979 35yo. The highlight was a cask of 25yo Rosebank, rolled into the room (It was held in the maltings room) and sampled straight from the cask. And anyone who wished could purchase a bottle, which was drawn with a valinch straight into a your bottle on the spot. Tastings like this, or a festival like this is what it still makes it worth for me coming back to Scotland

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Diageo Lost the Tennessee Whisky War but wins in Kentucky

and bourbon can now be made from re-used barrels:

On May 13, 2013, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam signed House Bill 1084, requiring the Lincoln County process (which involves maple charcoal filtering) to be used for products produced in the state labeling themselves as "Tennessee Whiskey", along with the existing requirements for bourbon.
Diageo wanted to change these definition of Tennessee Whisky but failed. Instead they managed to change the definition of bourbon. I'll clarify below

Bill Haslam

The categorization of Tennessee Whiskey was orchestrated more or less 100% by Brown-Forman, who owns Jack Daniels Distillery, which by far is the biggest distillery in Tennessee, so big that bourbon expert Chuck Cowdery has named it "The Elephant in the Room". 

So far this law has been opposed by Diageo, which at first sight seems very odd. Diageo owns the 2nd traditional distillery in Tennessee, George Dickel. George Dickel and Jack Daniels are the two distilleries that historically has produced bourbon in Tennessee with the added twist of the Lincoln County Process, which is a filtering process prior to aging the whisky. Defining Tennessee whiskey  with the above requirements is a logical step to ensure the definition of whiskey that both Jack Daniels and George Dickel produces as the style of Tennessee Whisky. With several small distilleries opening in Tennessee, they were, before this law was enforced, able to make any style of whiskey and labeling it Tennessee Whisky. Not anymore (with one exception, Prichard's, but that's another story) 

So why is Diageo (George Dickel) opposed to this. Not because they wan't to alter the production methods of George Dickel. It's because they wan't to limit the growth of Jack Daniels

Brown-Formans Jack Daniels and Diageo's Johnnie Walker (a scotch whiskey) are the two leading whisky brands in the world when it comes to sales. The sales of Dickel is maybe 1% of that of Jack Daniels, so that is not a very important brand for Diageo saleswise. It may be strategically, but not when it comes to the economy of Diageo. If Diageo can manage undermine the "Tennessee Whiskey" style, they can get hit in on one of their biggest competitors. Because whisky american style is taking market shares from Diageo these days

Diageo ofcourse claims something else, as Chuck Cowdery writes in his blog:

"Diageo firmly believes a single company should not be able to unilaterally determine the definition of an entire category. At its base, it is anti-competitive and protectionist. Diageo supports a return to the flexibility that Tennessee whisky distillers have had for the past 125 years, up until last year when Brown-Forman convinced the Tennessee legislature to define Tennessee whiskey as the Jack Daniel’s recipe."

Diageo has mainly tried to change the aging definitions of Tennessee Whisky. They want to remove the part that states the whiskey has to be aged in NEW charred oak barrels and that it has to be aged in Tennessee

But with no luck so far. Instead Diageo managed to get in on Brown-Forman another way.

On a federal level, what constitutes Tennessee whisky is legally established under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and at least one other international trade agreement that require that Tennessee whiskey be "a straight Bourbon Whisky authorized to be produced only in the State of Tennessee". Canadian food and drug laws state that Tennessee whiskey must be "a straight Bourbon whisky produced in the State of Tennessee".

Bourbon is defined by The Federal Standards of Identify for Distilled Spirits 27 CF§5.22

By changing the requirement in §5.22 (b)(1)(i) that bourbon must be stored in "new charred oak containers" to "new or refill charred oak containers" The Federal Standards of Identify for Distilled Spirits has changed the way bourbon (and with that, Tennessee whiskey) is produced 

Personally I think this is grand work by Diageos lobbyists in Washington. Undermining the definition of the style of whiskey your biggest competitors produce, is going to make it possible for the big brand of Diageo, Johnnie Walker, to stop it's current recession and go into growth again. And that will be on expense of american whiskies, which hasn't been in recession like Johnnie Walker, but on a steady growth 

But I don't think this is good for the quality of bourbon we see. This is actually a sad day for bourbon fans. I do hope as many producers as possible will stick to the old definitions

Another thing that will backfire is the lack of used casks, which is allready in higher demand than supplies. The main part of scottish whiskeys is aging in ex-bourbon. I am pretty sure this will begin an era where scotch is aged in new wood and bourbon in refill casks!

I am not sure how this affect the bourbon produced in Japan and China

Monday, March 16, 2015

10 drams to try at the danish whisky fair

Today the official tasting programme of the danish whisky fair went online.

The danish whisky fair is happening March 28 2015 in Fredericia.

Beside Whisky, there will be several exhibitors with rums and a few with craft beer

(The catalogue is in danish, but the whiskylist should be easy to understand for everybody)

For now I will only consider the whisky:

There are many very interesting stands. What about trying danish whisky from Braunstein, Stauning and Fary Lochan ?

Or try whisky bottled by Jack Wieber, one of my all-time favourite independent bottlers on the Whisky2U stand. Another favourite bottler of mine is Creative Whisky, which can be found at the DMWA stand. But there is just so many good bottlers present, which you will see if you look through the catalogue-pdf linked above

There will be a few Denmark-exclusive casks bottlings to buy and taste. FC Whisky has three bottlings in the new Adelphi Club Denmark series and Whiskymessen has a 13yo Craigellachie by Jack Wieber

13yo Craigellachie

A PC from Adelphi to Denmark

As a visitor you will have to spend some time selecting which drams to taste.

Here are my 10 recommendations of things to taste. It's a litle mix of favourite distilleries of mine, things I myself would like to taste and things you might not have considered to taste yourself.

1. Middleton Very Rare 40% at Pernod Ricard 

I would start here. Irish Whisky is delicate, 40% whisky is delicate, Old whisky is delicate. Better try this irish gem before you have too much Laphroaig

2 An Cnoc 35yo 44.3% at Vinspecialisten

An Cnoc is one of those hidden gem. The distillery is located on the border between Speyside and East Highland. I reckon this will be another delicate dram and should be had early. And it's not everyday you can find an affordable 35yo official bottling whisky

3. Arran 18yo 46% at TØNDEN

This whisky actually has world premier TODAY. Usually new releases are very slow coming to Denmark so it's very nice to something this recent here. This is oldest Arran released by The Arran Distillery. And When you are at this, why not go to the Juul's Engros stand and try another recent release, the Benromach 100 proof 10yo (57.1%)

4. SMWS 25.68 Vichy Kisses 57.8%

SMWS has an almost endless list of whiskies to try. And here is a chance to taste a whisky from the closed destillery in Falkirk. Experts still argue if it was triple or 2½ times distilled.

5. Writer's Tears Pot Still Cask Strength 53.0% at Interbrands

Irish Whisky at full  strenght. Used to be rare as a hens teeth. There you go

6. Caperdonich Raw Cask 50.2% Blackadder at FC Whisky

Caperdonich is my favourite scottish distillery. Blackadder is a great bottler. This has a chance of being good. I really hope so

And now we are here at FC whisky it's time to turn to my peated whisky recommendation

7. Kornog (Glann Ar Mor) PX Sherry at FC Whisky 46%

From the rather unknown Kornog Distillery in Brittany. Whisky made as whisky was made 100 years ago. Try it head to head with the Oloroso version. 

8. Smooth Ambler Old Scout 10yo 49.9% at Sprit & Co.

Now I have moved to Bourbon

Smooth Ambler is a rather new micro distillery in West Virginia. While their own stuff matures they bottle sourced whisky under the Old Scout label. Sourced from MGP in Indiana they say. Maybe it's Four Roses I say

And when we are at Bourbon, why not come to say hello to me for the next dram

9. Four Roses Single Barrel 50% at

I will be pouring bourbon for at their bourbon bar. Here is a chance to taste my favourite destillery, Four Roses. The regular 50% single barrel is one of the best value for money whiskies out there. And if you want to step up there will be other and older Four Roses to try

And after bourbon I think it will be suitable to finish this set with a rye whisky

10. Millstone rye 100 50% at Juul's Engros

If you like rye whisky this is a must. 100 month old. 100% rye mash and 100 american proof

The danish whisky fair usually have between 2000 and 3000 visitors.

Their website is