23 February 2017

Whisky Insiders Interview - Iain J McAlister

Glen Scotia Distillery

Distillery Manager


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I have been working in the whisky industry and at Glen Scotia Distillery for nine fantastic and very busy years.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
My biggest career highlight was experiencing Glen Scotia’s Double Cask whisky winning the World Whisky Awards, Campbeltown whisky of the year for 2016. The start of great achievements for the distillery and the Loch Lomond group.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
My first dram was a Laphroaig, can’t remember what specific year it was, but just that is was rather good!

What does whisky mean to you?
The whisky industry means a lot to me, as I have witnessed Glen Scotia Distillery’s rise from relative obscurity, to one of becoming a strong and visible presence in this historic and fantastic wee town called Campbeltown. The whisky industry has been my life and my passion for a while now and I only can see this continuing into the future with Glen Scotia’s steady rise to prominence, with all our visitors and customers over the next year.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
Right where I am at present; Distillery Manager at Glen Scotia. That is as good as it gets for me!

What was your last dram?
My last dram was a rather nice 1989 Glen Scotia second fill sherry hogshead, which is situated within our dunnage warehouse. This had a rich well developed nose, with a beautiful mix of ripe tropical fruits on the palate, rather nice!

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
Scotland is renowned the world over for its whisky and indeed seafood, so it is not surprising that a Glen Scotia 2009 medium peated at 20.0 ppm has a distinct compatibility with the finest Kintyre Smokehouse smoked salmon. It's delicious!

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
My ideal time to enjoy a dram is with company, usually with a group on a tour and tasting of Glen Scotia Distillery. During this we can discuss the whisky and the components and technicality that go into making great whisky!

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
So much to cover with this, but here goes; I believe that a lot of lesser known brands are going to make big impressions due to the quality of their whiskies and that single malts are still going to go from strength to strength on the global market. Innovation is always going to be the catalyst for the innovators to lead and the others to follow and copy.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
I have an affinity for Glen Scotia Double Cask and really like to unwind with this special dram on a Friday night.

Many thanks to Iain J McAlister. Who will be our next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!

17 February 2017

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes

Glenmorangie Bacalta
Nose: A fruity five a day flourish of dates, sultanas, dried apricots, Seville oranges and the zest of a lime – honeycomb drizzled in white chocolate - smoked walnuts – warm toffee - anise infused honey – cinnamon sticks – ground white pepper - damp paving stones and the aroma from an empty box of After Eight dinner mints.
Palate: Clove and anise spiced orange marmalade - baked apricots – grilled mango slices – Marsala poached pears - tea soaked dates and sultanas – Cadbury’s crunchie bar – smoked walnuts - bergamot oil - wood spice and the lingering aftertaste of a handful of mint Toffo’s.
Finish: A citrus and spice led, teasing and tantalising long, linger-ette of a finish, which does more than justice to a dram that’s abundantly joyous and jubilant.
Summary: This is the eighth release of Glenmorangie’s Private Edition series, which was matured in casks that were created specifically for the extra-maturation. Made from tight-grained, air-seasoned American oak staves, the casks were heavily toasted, then filled with specifically sourced Malmsey Madeira and baked by the heat of the sun for two years.
The Glenmorangie Private Edition series remains a real annual release highlight. It’s always a genuine thrill to see how the variables of each release will impact and influence Glenmorangie’s signature spirit. To date different wine finishes, barley types, cask management and the traditional use of peat have been used to create some truly exciting and enticing drops of dramspankage. Roll on the 9th release in 2018!

13 February 2017

Dramentine's Day Competition

Well it’s that time of the year again, when on the 14th of Feb, we celebrate with the loves of our lives, or dare to bare our feelings anonymously to the unsuspecting ones at the heart of our desires in all things Valentine’s. But here at The Whisky Wire, we believe in being more dramorous than amorous, and think it’s the perfect day to further spread the love of whisky on what we like to call Dramentine’s Day!

To help spread that dramming feeling, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Loch Lomond, to give away a perfect pairing of two of their malty soul mates; Loch Lomond 12 Year Old and Glen Scotia Double Cask.

To be in with a chance of winning both bottles, all you need to do is click here and email us your contact details along with the following phrase that dramming pays:

“Roses are red, violets are blue,
this Dramentine’s day,
Loch Lomond I want you!”
Remember to mark the subject line of the email with: Dramentine’s Day
If you’re not already doing so, also remember to follow @TheWhiskyWire @LochLomondMalts and @GlenScotiaMalts on Twitter and RT one of our related competition tweets for another chance to win!

For more info on Loch Lomond, visit: lochlomondwhiskies.com
For more info on Glen Scotia, visit: glenscotia.com
Competition open to over 18’s only and closes on February 19th 2017 at 23.59 GMT

8 February 2017

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Tweet Tasting

More social media based dramfotainment you say? Well allow us to gladly oblige with our triumphant teeming throng of Tweet Tastings.
Not only are we thrilled to announce our 103rd Tweet Tasting, we’re delighted to announce that for our next event on March 15th, we’ll be teaming up with those purveyors of small batch bottled belters at That Boutique-y Whisky Company.
We’re very much looking forward to pouring and exploring our way through some of TBWC’s new batch of releases; so new, that we can’t yet reveal what we’ll be sipping and savouring on the night. But as they say good things come to those of wait!
If you would like to take part in what will be a dramspanking night to remember Click Here to register your interest by emailing your name, address and Twitter handle, remembering to mark the subject line #BoutiqueyWhisky

The closing date to register is February 21st, and if you are registering to take part please make sure that you will actually be free on the evening of March 15th 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 March 15th at 7pm GMT via #BoutiqueyWhisky

Registration open to over 18's only!
For more info on TBWC, visit: thatboutiqueywhiskycompany.com
Be part of the dramfotainment!

23 January 2017

Win Tickets to Whisky Live London 2017

Hootendrammy! It’s very nearly that time of the year again, when Whisky Live rolls into London. The world’s premier whisky tasting event returns to the stunning surroundings of the Honourable Artillery Company in the heart of the City, on Friday 31st March and Saturday 1st April.

With a dramspankingly new whisky themed menu for 2017, this year’s event will feature a multitude of exhibiting whisky brands from all over the world, along with masterclasses and food pairings. There will also be a VIP Lounge featuring some very special pours.

For the fifth year running, we’re thrilled to be teaming up again with Whisky Live London, to give away two pairs of tickets to this year’s dramstravaganza. To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is Click Here and email us your contact details along with the following phrase that dramming pays:

"Whisk me away to Whisky Live London to uncover and discover a dramspanking wealth of wondrous, worldly, whisky wares”

*Remember to mark the subject line of your email with either: Whisky Live Friday or Whisky Live Saturday depending on which day you would like to attend.

If you’re just too eager to secure your tickets before they sell out, and why wouldn’t you, we’d like to offer all our readers a 10% ticket discount to this year’s event. Click Here to buy your tickets remembering to add discount code: WLL2 when checking out.

If you’re not already doing so, also remember to follow @TheWhiskyWire and @WhiskyLive on Twitter and RT one of our related competition tweets for another chance to win!


We'll be there over the weekend, and it'd be great to share a dram or two on what promises to be a gargantuanly glorious weekend of whisky in London!

For full details and updates visit: whiskylive.com
Competition open to over 18’s only and closes at 23:59 GMT on March 24th 2017.