27 July 2015

New Whisky Flash Blog Events

In addition to our teaming throng of Twitter trending Tweet Tastings, we’ll also soon be launching a new series of Whisky Flash Blog events.
Open to both Tweeting and Facebooking bloggers, these new social media soiree’s will focus on one particular expression from a brand.
Full details on the in’s and out’s of our new Whisky Flash Blog’s will be coming soon, but you can register your interest now by emailing us via the contact tab using #WhiskyFlashBlog in the subject line.
While we’re at it keep your eyes peeled for details on our next dramspanking dose of Tweet Tastings. We have some epic events in the works as we head into autumn.

15 July 2015

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes #51

Anon Batch 1
Abbey Whisky Rare Casks
Nose: Oloroso sherry soaked raisins, Demerara rum drenched sultanas, toffee apples, mixed citrus peel, Glacé cherries, Waitrose treacle tart, oat topped plum crumble, honey and lemon tea, Nestle Caramac bar, Cadbury’s fudge, toasted walnuts, Belazu Aged Balsamic Vinegar, charred oak, dried thyme, struck match and something rather chardonnay-ish.
Palate: Fino and Oloroso sherry soaked prunes, white grapes, wood smoke, spiced honey, Paul A Young’s sea salted chocolate caramels, Jamaican spice bun, Twinings earl grey green tea, lemon sherbet, caramelised fennel fronds, five spice, palm sugar, the rind from a wheel of Berkswell ewes milk cheese and yet more vinous vibrancy from something suggestively Sauternes-esque.
Finish: As eclectically energetic and brazenly balanced on the finish as it is on the nose and palate. But if it just managed to linger around just a tad longer, it would be rock and dramming roll all the way!
Summary: Over the last couple of years Abbey Whisky have released some belting distillery named bottlings as part of their Rare Casks series, and this first unnamed Highland distillery offering is certainly no exception.

2 July 2015

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes #50

GlenDronach 8 Year Old
The Hielan

Nose: Bourbon and sherry soaked sultanas, stewed prunes, overripe pink lady apples, clove studded orange, Müller Fruit Corner peach & apricot yogurt, demerara caramel, vanilla fudge, Starbucks caffè mocha, a just opened box of Weetabix and a tub of heavily buttered cinema popcorn.

Palate: More of those bourbon and sherry soaked sultanas, grilled peaches, mixed spice, ground black pepper, toasted oak, vanilla Danish pastries, McVities Jamaica ginger cake, sugared almonds, chocolate coated raisins and a Waitrose sticky toffee pudding drenched in a wondrous wave of butterscotch sauce.

Finish: A spicy, sweet, sheer sherried-esque smacker of a long lingering finish.

Summary: Where as many brands have gone down the NAS route recently with their younger entry level bottlings (of which some are superb!) it’s great to see that GlenDronach have enough confidence in their latest release to proudly wave an 8 Year Old age statement flag.

It may not be as heavy on the sherry compared to some of their other bounty of bottlings, but as an entry level dram it shouldn’t anyway. All in all it’s a superbly balanced drop of dramspankage, that echoes all the glories of GlenDronach throughout but without any shrieks, roars or moans from a sherry monster.

26 June 2015

Win a Trio of Liquid Americana Belters

Not that we ever need an excuse to pour and share a drop of America’s finest, but with July 4th just around the corner we thought we’d kick off the festivities a tad early by giving one of our followers the chance of winning a trio of bountiful, big bang for buck liquid Americana belters.
For your chance to win a bottle each of Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Hudson Manhattan Rye, Click Here and email us your contact details along with the following phrase that dramming pays:
“I’d love to sip, savour and celebrate July 4th with some good, good, good, good rye-brations and a belting big bang for buck bounty of bourbons”
*Remember to mark the subject line of your email with: Liquid Americana Comp
If you’re on Twitter you can also follow us via @TheWhiskyWire and RT one of our related competition tweets for another chance to win!
Competition closes at 23:59 on July 3rd. The winner will be announced on July 4th. You have to be aged 18 years or over to enter.

16 June 2015

Benromach Tweet Tasting II

Fancy sampling Benromach’s new 15 Year Old single malt? Then allow us to oblige, as on July 6th we’re teaming up again with this stunner of a Speyside distillery, for another dramspanking dose of Tweet Tastery.

In addition to the headlining new 15 Year Old, which we’ll be sipping and savouring as part of its global launch, on the night we’ll also be pouring and exploring their multi award winning 10 Year Old expression.

Full details to follow soon, but if you would like to take part in an evening enjoying a duo of delicious and splendorous Speyside sips, register your interest by emailing your name, address and Twitter handle via the contact tab, remembering to mark the subject line #BenromachTT

The closing date to register is Tuesday June 23rd, and if you are registering to take part please make sure that you will actually be free on the evening of July 6th to take part!!!

Even if you're not one of the selected Tweet Tasters, it'd be great to have you following all the evenings’ dramfotainment. So we look forward to seeing you over on Twitter on July 6th at 7pm BST via #BenromachTT

Until then Happy Dramlaxing!

For more information on Benromach visit: benromach.com

Registration open to over 18's only!

12 June 2015

Whisky Insiders Interview - Dr Robert Birnecker

Koval Distillery

Master Distiller and CEO


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
As I grew up working on my grandfather’s distillery and winery in Austria, it’s hard to stamp an exact date on when I began to work in the industry. That being said, my wife Sonat and I moved to Chicago and started distilling at Koval in 2008.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Watching Koval grow into a global brand has definitely been the biggest career highlight for me. Seven years ago Sonat and I were bottling by hand at our first distillery as our oldest son sat in a pack-n-play and now we travel across the world to represent Koval and help set up distilleries through our consulting business, Kothe Distilling Technologies.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
I can’t remember my first dram but I do remember my first spirit experience with a rum and coke.

What does whisky mean to you?
To me, whisky is a mix of tradition with modern elements. Since I grew up learning traditional European distilling techniques, many of those elements are reflected in the whisky and spirits we make at Koval, but with other new methods as well, like only using the “heart cut” of the distillate and sourcing from regional organic grains. Whisky is the past and the future!

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
I’d like to see myself still at Koval Distillery in Chicago, but with a larger impact on more markets, and a few new products in our line as well.

What was your last dram?
The last spirit I had was my grandfather’s pear brandy.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
A favourite of mine and a combination that works particularly well is bourbon and dark chocolate.

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
Usually while relaxing late in the evening, after a long day of work and once the kids are in bed.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
We have a few new distillates resting in barrels, so only time will tell (at least for the next big thing for Koval).

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
There isn’t one dram I couldn’t live without, but I’d be very disappointed if the range of whiskies around the world became more limited. It’s great to see such a wide variety in the market.

Many thanks to Dr Robert Birnecker. Who will be the next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!

3 June 2015

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes #49

Kilchoman 2009 PX Finish
Abbey Whisky Exclusive
Nose: The aroma of pork ribs smoking in a pit barbeque, a sodden peat bog, hoisin sauce, five spice, a thick crema topped cup of espresso, sherry soaked sultanas, mixed citrus peel, tea soaked prunes, a bar of Lindt chilli chocolate, Paul A Young sea salted caramels, ground white pepper and an old wing tipped leather chair that’s absorbed a decade’s worth of cigar smoke.
Palate: Peat smoke, charred oak, burnt granary toast, sherry soaked raisins, Haribo Pontefract cakes, blackberry and apple crumble, clove studded Seville orange, Hotel Chocolat sour cherry truffles, Mackays Scottish three berry preserve, demerara caramel, coffee beans, white pepper and a stick of Big Red cinnamon chewing gum.
Finish: A full on feisty, fiery finish that’s as long, welcoming and satisfying as a post dinner cigar.
Summary: I’ve lost count to the amount of retailer exclusive Kilchoman bottling’s that have been released over the last couple of years, but do you know what, each one that I’ve had the pleasure of sampling has been a belter. Though it has to be said the addition of a PX sherry finish, has given this particular bottling an added edge of va, va, va, voom!