18 July 2016

The Whisky Business from The Whisky Wire

In addition to all our reviews, interviews, Tweet Tastings and general dramspankery and dramfotainment, remember to visit and follow our sister news site The Whisky Business for all the latest national and international copper-bottomed news stories, from the wide and very wonderful world of whisky.

28 June 2016

Our 90th Tweet Tasting - Grant's Whisky

Continuing our hugely successful triumphant teeming thong of Twitter trending Tweet Tastings, we’re thrilled to announce that on August 3rd, we’ll be hosting our 90th event. On the night we’ll be proudly preaching and shouting from the roof tops “Let’s hear it for the blends” as we spend an evening pouring and exploring a bevy of blended belters from Grant’s whisky.
On the night we’ll be sharing, sipping and savouring Grant’s Family Reserve, Ale Cask, Sherry Cask and Signature expressions. Regardless if you’re new to the brand or are just wanting to get reacquainted with their core range crackers click here to register your interest by emailing your name, address and Twitter handle, remembering to mark the subject line: #GrantsWhisky
The closing date to register is July 12th, and if you are registering to take part please make sure that you will actually be free on the night!!!
Even if you're not one of the selected Tweet Tasters, it'd be great to have you following the evening’s dramfotainment. So we look forward to seeing you over on Twitter on August 3rd at 7pm BST via hashtag #GrantsWhisky
For more information on Grant's visit: grantswhisky.com

Registration open to over 18's only!

19 June 2016

The Glenlivet Cipher

Undoubtedly whisky is as sensational as it is subjective, and it’s always a genuine thrill to hear about the sensory journeys of others, and their thoughts, tasting notes and opinions on the drams that I've grown to love over the years or have yet to be acquainted with.

One of the highlights for me personally when hosting tasting events, be that group or our Twitter trending Tweet Tastings, is hearing the fresh, un-blinkered, un-over analysed feedback and descriptors from those just starting out on their whisky journeys.

Although sometimes slightly hesitant to begin with, fearing that when they reveal what they’ve uncovered and discovered will sound strange or different to the notes of fellow tasters, those new to such events are always reassured when you tell them plain and simply, "there is no right or wrong answer" and that they should always trust and believe in their own senses and initial instincts.

Whisky is indeed subjective and we all pick up different things, be that due to differences and sensitivities in how we all nose and taste, or more emotive reasons such as memories of holidays or pick and mix sweet preferences as a child.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all be newbies again, blinded and none the wiser about a whisky's age or cask constituents, as we pour and explore it for the first time, and really put our senses to an untainted test? Well thanks to The Glenlivet we can!

Following on from their tantalising, teasing and very tropical limited Alpha bottling in 2013, The Glenlivet has released another mysterious blank, black, bottling, with practically no printed information on the bottle or its packaging apart for its ABV of 48%, and of course its name, The Glenlivet Cipher.

Shrouded in mystery, this latest release from the multi-ward winning Speyside distillery, has been launched to push the boundaries of flavour exploration, and invites whisky enthusiasts to embark on a flavour journey to decode the secret tasting notes of The Glenlivet Cipher.

In addition to being invited to uncover and uncrack the code of the official tasting notes by Glenlivet’s Master Distiller Alan Winchester via cipher.theglenlivet.com whisky enthusiasts will also be able to input their tasting notes and find out how close they have come to cracking The Glenlivet Cipher.

We were recently lucky enough to be able to sample this new mysterious drop of maltage from The Glenlivet, and here’s what we managed to discover and decipher:

The nose: kicks off with a feisty, fruity fiesta of sauternes poached pears, grilled pineapple rings, pink lady apples and sumptuous demerara rum soaked raisins.

Stem ginger, vanilla fudge, pear drops and a Cadbury’s crunchie bar, make for the next set of nasal niceties, along with heather honey and wisps of botanically bodacious anise, chamomile, juniper and wild time.

Cinnamon sticks, mixed citrus peel, blackberries, wood spice and ground-ettes of white pepper, then help to provide a bounty of balance, along with something that can only be described as florally musk-esque.

The palate: kicks off with a decadently delicious dessert trolley of pineapple upside down sponge, Jamaica ginger cake and chocolate salted caramel brownies, all served with a good drenching of Madagascan vanilla custard.

The dessert theme continues, but heading in more of the direction of your five a day, with spiced baked apples stuffed with blackberries, grilled peaches, stewed prunes and more of those sauternes poached pears.

Orange peel, smoked walnuts, anise, roaring wood spice and oodles of opulent charred oak, make for the final sprinkling of palatable pleasures along with a feisty floral freshness.

In addition to our tasting notes, we also took the challenge of trying to crack Alan Winchesters official tasting notes via The Glenlivet website, but only managed a pityfull score of 60%. If you’re lucky enough to grab a bottle of this rather gutsy, giving and lively livet, head to cipher.theglenlivet.com and see if you can decipher the latest release from The Glenlivet.

Can you decipher The Glenlivet Cipher?


15 June 2016

Whisky Insiders Interview - Struan Grant Ralph

William Grant & Sons

Glenfiddich Global Brand Ambassador


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
In 1999 I started out as a bartender in Glasgow, when the big spirit of choice for me back then was rum. I definitely drank my fair share of daiquiris and rum manhattans, until about a year later when I first tasted Glenrothes with Ronnie Cox, at an event he was hosting. He had designed a tasting to appeal to us “youngsters” and it was eye opening. He described one of the expressions as the “vodka Redbull of single malts”. This got me thinking, that as a bartender from Speyside I should probably get into whisky.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Last year I was involved in the development and launch of a new expression of Glenfiddich in America. Being part of the team that created an entirely new variant of Glenfiddich from start to finish and then launching it across the country with some of my best friends, was not only a big career highlight but something I will remember forever.
Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
It was on top of a Munroe, one of Scotland’s highest mountains, from a hip flask that got passed to me with great reverence. I remember that the walk back down the hill was some of the best rambling I’ve ever done.
What does whisky mean to you?
Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
I don’t know where but I do know that I would love to be doing this job, with a bigger team of Glenfiddich Ambassadors around the world and with more incredible opportunities to share our whisky and unique distillery with more and more people.
What was your last dram?
I’m at the distillery for most of June, so the drams are quite incredible. The last dram I had was the Hudson barrel aged Glenfiddich, which was this year’s Speyside Whisky Festival bottling.
Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
I think anything that talks to an individual palate is great, but for my palate particularly I have loved tastings with Chefs in Japan with the oil and texture of sashimi, it’s incredible. In the same way that chocolate and single malt is perfect. I have also grown very fond of a well paired cigar on special occasions.
What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
I feel like every whisky has its own unique time and place, sometimes the quiet whisky at the end of a long day is perfect. For me, any dram I get to have with my wife, when we know we have few days to relax in one place is very special.
What do you think are going to be the next big things on the whisky horizon?
Peated American single malts, more adventurous cask finishes, Scottish micro distilling, the continued innovation of grain to cask processes with a focus on energy efficiency and whiskies adaptation to our changing climate.
What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
The classic, the original, Glenfiddich 12 Year Old! From every airport lounge, dive bar, five-star hotel, it’s my ticket to a good drink almost everywhere I’ve been from Mongolia to Mexico. It’s mixable and sippable and the best introduction to Scottish single malt.
Many thanks to Struan Grant Ralph. Who will be our next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!

6 June 2016

The Glenlivet Cipher Tweet Tasting

Continuing our hugely successful triumphant teeming thong of Tweet Tastings, we’re thrilled to announce that on June 20th we’ll be teaming up again with our good friends at The Glenlivet, for an evening headlined by their new mysterious Cipher expression, as part of its worldwide launch.

On the night a specially invited ensemble of whisky bloggers and enthusiasts will be challenged by The Glenlivet, to embark on a nosing and tasting journey to try and decode the secret tasting notes of The Glenlivet Cipher.

This latest and mysterious single malt expression from the multi-ward winning Speyside distillery, is said to offer a new flavour experience to explore whilst staying true to the smooth and fruity flavour that has made the distillery famous.

We'd absolutely ‘Glen Love It’ if you followed all the evenings dramfotainment, so join us with a dram in hand over on Twitter on June 20th from 19:00 BST via #TheGlenlivetCipher

For more information on The Glenlivet Cipher click here to read full details on the new release via our The Whisky Business site.

For more information on The Glenlivet visit: theglenlivet.com