14 June 2021

109th Whisky Insiders Interview - Gary Haggart

The Lindores Distilling Co Ltd

Distillery Manager


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I originally started with United Distillers at Dewars Of Perth, Inveralmond in July 1991. I stayed with what became Diageo until August 2011, before moving into oil and gas for just over five and half years. I then started my role here at Lindores Abbey Distillery, so in total I am coming up for 25 years in the industry.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Helping relative newcomers to the industry and across our business, to produce a single malt whisky and develop a brand worthy of the Lindores name.
Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
I think it was probably Johnnie Walker Black Label or maybe even a rusty nail, during winter league at Blair Atholl Golf Club. With the ball bouncing off a rock hard fairway and no feeling in your hands, it normally led to a few of the more senior players producing a “hippy” and a “get that down you son!”. It was a great feeling as it ignited a glow in you and put a few extra yards on your drive.
What does whisky mean to you?
It’s a product that has shaped me as a person and has become an integral part of who I am!
Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?

In the warehouse wishing my time away trying to make some casks mature faster or be older than they actually are.
What was your last dram?
It was a Cameronbridge 22 Year Old Single Grain. I have an absolute soft spot for well-aged single grain whiskies, and it was whilst watching a 50 Year Old man become the oldest winner of a Major Golf tournament. Whisky and memorable events are interlinked through all stages of our lives.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
Yes, Cragganmore and smoked Bavarian cheese with a few oatcakes. I could make a fool of myself drinking and eating that all night but I find they both compliment themselves so well.
What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
Always at night and always with friends and family. For me whisky is a sharing drink, a time to converse and a time to relax.
What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
I honestly do not know, as its hard to keep up with the trends and changes. I think we might soon go into a “state of calm” where we just let everything settle down and make the best product we can within what we can and cannot do. It’s that fine balance between innovation and tradition!
What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
At the moment Glenfarclas 15 Year Old, but I have my eye on some Lindores Casks that were filled with our spirit. These casks had Pineau De Charentes in them for over 40 years and they are secreting what can only be called nectar. I just hope the spirit and the cask find a harmony because I so want the matured product to be good!
Many thanks to Gary Haggart. Who will be our next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!


7 June 2021

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes

Ardbeg Scorch - Committee Release
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
51.7% ABV

Nose: Wave upon wave of peat smoke and barbecue coal embers, charred oak, M&S beech wood smoked bacon, dark chocolate covered coffee beans, Mackays three fruit marmalade, blackberry jam, burnt granary toast, Scottish tablet, aniseed twists, Pears soap, soy sauce, seaweed, sage, rosemary and a good grind of white pepper.

Palate: All the drawn in, hit the back of the throat brazenness of freshly laid tarmac, peat smoke, charred oak, Colman’s English mustard glazed gammon, smoked walnuts, salted caramel, aniseed twists, Lockets honey and lemon lozenges, suds of Wrights traditional coal tar soap, five spice, sage, rosemary, white pepper and a tease of mint tea.

Finish: A fabulous, full-on flavour fest of all things Ardbegian, which is driven by those smoke and five spice notes, and is in no hurry to peter out.

Summary: Another bountiful belter of a committee release bottling from the iconic Islay based distillery, which has been bottled to help celebrate Ardbeg Day, as part of the 2021 Fèis Ìle (Islay Festival of Music and Malt). As ever, this annual release highlights all the gutsy gloriousness that this distillery delivers, along with a wealth of additional and unique cask influenced nuances.

1 June 2021

SPEY Fumare Cask Strength Bottle Competition

Pinch, punch, first dram of the month! As we say goodbye to May and a big hello to June, it can only mean one thing; it’s time for another one of our monthly bottle competitions!

Be it for one of our Tweet Tastings or competitions, we love nothing more than being able to share and giveaway some of our favourite drops of dramspankage. So for June we're delighted to announce that we’re teaming up with our friends at the Speyside Distillery, to giveaway a bottle of their most excellent SPEY Fumare Cask Strength.

SPEY Fumare Cask Strength – Batch 2 (60.4% ABV) is a cranked up to 11 version of the distillery’s first peated single malt Scotch whisky expression; the multi-award winning Fumare (46% ABV) which has been matured in bourbon barrels.

For your chance to win a bottle of SPEY Fumare Cask Strength click here to email us with your contact details and date of birth, along with the phrase that dramming pays:

“I’d love to savour something
sipsationally smoky from SPEY”

*Mark the subject line of your email with: SPEY Fumare 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 June 30th 2021. You have to be aged 21 years or over to enter!
For more information on the SPEY range, visit: speysidedistillery.co.uk
Good Luck!