29 April 2016

The Dram Team Tweet Tasting

Continuing our teeming throng of our industry renowned Tweet Tastings, we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that on June 7th we’ll be teaming up with The Dram Team and their new premium whisky tasting-by-post subscription service, for an evening of epic dramspankery.

As part of their UK launch, on the night we’ll be pouring and exploring The Dram Team’s inaugural flight of whiskies, which will give our selected tasters and followers a taste of what’s to come from this new whisky-tasting-by-post subscription and gift service.

Full details to follow soon, but if you would like to take part in what promises to be a dramming night to remember click here to register your interest by emailing your name, address and Twitter handle, remembering to mark the subject line of the email: #TheDramTeam

The closing date to register is May 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 all the evening’s dramfotainment. So we look forward to seeing you over on Twitter on June 7th at 7pm BST via hashtag #TheDramTeam

Registration open to UK residents and over 18's only

For more information on The Dram Team visit: thedramteam.co.uk


22 April 2016

Raise a glass to London's whisky scene

We recently contributed to a piece for Virgin Atlantic, looking at the whisky scene in London. It also focuses on the ever growing new generation of whisky consumer, as well as including a 'whisky basics' jaunt around the whisky regions of Scotland, Ireland, England and America. Click Here to read the full article.

18 April 2016

Girvan & Rare Cask Reserve Tweet Tasting

Continuing our triumphant teaming throng of Tweet Tastings, we’re thrilled to announce that on June 8th, we’ll be teaming up again with our good friends at William Grant & Sons as we share, sip and savour a wave of whisky wares from their Girvan Patent Still and Rare Cask Reserve brands.

On the night we’ll be pouring and exploring their gargantuanly glorious Girvan Patent Still Proof Strength and 25 Year Old expressions, along with their 21 and 26 Year Old Rare Cask Reserves which form two of the brands in the William Grant & Sons Ancient Reserves portfolio.

We’re also thrilled to announce that on the night we’ll be joined by Alwynne Gwilt, ‎Whisky Specialist at William Grant & Sons, who’ll not only be tweeting in on the action but on hand to answer all your Girvan based questions.

Full details to follow soon, but if you would like to take part in an evening that’s all about the glory of the grain and some remarkable rare reserves, Click Here and register your interest by emailing your name, postal address and Twitter handle, remembering to mark the subject line #AncientReserves

The closing date to register is May 2nd, 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 June 8th at 7pm BST via hashtag #AncientReserves

Until then Happy Dramlaxing!

For more information on The Girvan Patent Still visit: thegirvanpatentstill.com
Registration open to UK residents and over 18's only!

13 April 2016

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes

Ailsa Bay
Nose: Bonfire ash, freshly laid tarmac, Wright’s coal tar soap, poly cement (Airfix) glue, damp hay bales, crispy smoked bacon, cayenne pepper, warm vanilla fudge, Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference lemon curd, pear drops, sugared almonds, green tea, ready rolled cake icing, Waitrose treacle tart and something rather sweet musk-esque.
Taste: Barbecue charred bacon rinds, coal dust, Lockets honey and lemon lozenges, linseed oil, freshly picked verbena leaves, Butterkist toffee popcorn, steamed syrup sponge pudding drenched in vanilla custard, Lindt chilli dark chocolate, mixed spice, grounds of black pepper and oodles of opulent charred oak.
Finish: A long, lush and lingering - sweet, smoky and spiced finish, that goes on and on and on and on…
Summary: A drop of pure dramming class in a glass! An outstanding very Islay-esque, cotemporary looking and traditional feeling first release from William Grant & Son’s new Lowland distillery brand. As with the Girvan and Kininvie additions to the WGS whisky portfolio over the last few years, we greatly look forward to following Ailsa Bay's progress and pouring and exploring its future whisky wares.

6 April 2016

The Whisky Wire's 6th Birthday Competition

Today we've reached the ripe old age of six, and to help celebrate our 6th Birthday we’re giving one of our followers the chance of winning their height in whisky miniatures.

Between now and Sunday April 10th, we’re giving away a whole heaping height of delicious dramspankage, which will include a wealth of worldly whisky wares, along with a splenderous selection of some of Scotchlands finest.

To be in with a chance of winning Click Here and email us your contact details along with your height (we trust you to be honest malt mates) and the following phrase that dramming pays:

“I’d love to win The Whisky Wire’s
heaping height of whisky wares
and raise a glass to six years of
dramlaxing and dramspankery.”

*Remember to mark the subject line of your email with: 6th Birthday 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!


While I’m at it I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your support over the last six years, and I look forward to raising a glass of something special to you all. Happy Dramlaxing!

Competition closes at 23:59 on April 10th 2016 the winner will be announced on April 12th. You have to be aged 18 years or over to enter. Maximum height given in prize will be 6.5ft.

24 March 2016

Whisky Insiders Interview - Kevin Abrook

William Grant & Sons

Global Whisky Specialist - Innovation


How long have you been working in the industry?
My journey in the whisky industry began over 20 years ago in 1994 when I became Global Marketing Manager for Tullamore Dew after the company I was working for at the time, C&C, acquired the brand from Irish Distillers.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Thankfully there are quite a few, so the most recent innovations I worked on spring to mind.  In 2013 I launched The Girvan Patent Still Single Grain scotch, and Kininvie Single Malt, both of which played a key part in Wm Grants winning the trophy for Scotch Whisky and World Whisky Innovator of the year in 2013. It’s not every day you get to say you were involved in creating a ‘new’ category in Scotch, with single grain.

I am also very proud of the concept and design work I did for Ailsa Bay Single Malt. This is a fantastic peated single malt, but we couldn’t “out-Isaly Islay” with all their heritage and tradition; so the packaging had to have a contemporary look that reflected a modern, 21st Century distillery. I think it works well to convey this; I’m biased of course, but I hope others like it too.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
I can't remember what my first dram was, but it was certainly an Irish Whisky as I moved here in 1990 from the UK. I do remember my whisky ‘epiphany moment’ though. That was when I was tasting three different potential samples for the launch of Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old, the eventual winner [the current product] was quite simply sublime – and still is!

What does whisky mean to you?
Whisky can mean many things depending on the occasion, from chilling out with friends and highballs on a sunny patio, to quiet contemplation with a classic aged single malt. So I’ll answer a different question! What separates whisky from other spirits? For me it is a sense of specialness that elevates whisky above other drinks. It is more reflective, about winding down rather than winding up. I am at peace with the world with a whisky in hand.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
Hopefully I will still be exciting, educating and informing people about whisky. It is a privilege to be working as Global Whisky Specialist and I feel very lucky to be working with such a range of whisky innovations...and you should see what’s coming down the line! There’s great camaraderie in the industry, despite the competitive nature of the business, which I love.

What was your last dram?
It was a Girvan No.4 Apps highball, with a thin slice of pear dipped in sugar syrup – you really should try it. Fantastic drink for the summer.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
Of course, it is known that whisky goes very well with chocolate and cheese, but when it comes to food in general I have to confess that I always thought wine was a better companion. That was until the press launch of The Girvan Patent Still in Paris. The chef created an absolutely stunning starter paired with The Girvan Patent Still No.4 Apps: Salmon baked with a hint of vanilla; served with an orange coulis. It complemented the vanilla and citrus notes of the Girvan single grain perfectly, and, being a lighter style of whisky, it did not dominate the salmon. The French food and wine journalists present even said it was genuinely better than white wine as a pairing for the dish – you know you’re on to something then!

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
Anywhere with like-minded people who appreciate what has gone in to making the whisky.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
Japanese whisky is on trend and has been for a while, but that has largely been amongst knowledgeable whisky consumers; now you will start to see it becoming big in the mainstream. Japanese whisky was given a boost when Jim Murray awarded Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 the accolade of best whisky in the world for 2015, so it will be interesting to see if Canadian Whisky follows suit now that Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye is his 2016 selection. I hope so as it is often overlooked as a category. But ‘World Whiskies’ from non-traditional whisky making countries will begin to make an impact too as part of the broader ‘craft’ trend – whisky drinkers love to experiment and always will.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old, the first new whisky I launched and my ‘epiphany moment’ dram.

Many thanks to Kevin Abrook. Who will be the next Whisky Insider? Click back too to find out!