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The Whiskey Word

Whiskey World News & Commentary
Balblair 1969 vintage gift box

Balblair - Then & Now

It’s Balblair’s ill fortune to be located less than 5 miles from Glenmorangie, its rather better-known neighbour, and somewhat off the main road north; to be late into the single malt market and to be owned by one of the industry’s smaller companies, lacking the marketing and distribution muscle of its larger competitors. But none of this means you should ignore it, because there is much of interest to be found there.
Kingsbarns buildings

New Scotch Distilleries

January 2013 Commercial environments never stay the same for long and the world of Scotch whisky is no exception. With apparently ever-increasing demand for Scotch around the world, the industry’s major players such as Diageo and Chivas Brothers are ramping up production, with expansion taking place at existing sites and the creation of several entirely new distilleries.
Arran 10 Year Old

Isle of Arran - A Journey of Discovery

January 2013 - Late in 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Isle of Arran Distillers again - the first since their office move to a country estate just outside Stirling - to interview Chief Executive, Euan Mitchell. I asked him to explain to me the thinking behind the Isle of Arran range and tell me a little about the company and future plans.
Ardbeg exterior

Eating on Islay - Distillery Style

You’ve made the long (and expensive) pilgrimage to Islay; battled with the mysteries of the ferry timetable and started ticking off distilleries from your ‘must see’ list.  There’s a lot to do: you’ve planned this trip in detail, saved for it, looked forward to it…there’s no time to waste. But, suddenly, hunger strikes.   Potentially, it’s a problem. Charming though this little Hebridean island is, no one has ever claimed that it’s over-endowed with great dining choices.  And you can hardly bear to break off your visit to eat anyway.  
Auchentoshan exterior

For Your Visiting Pleasure

Those of you who have visited Scotch Whisky distilleries and enjoyed the visitor centres may not have given much thought to the look and feel of your surroundings there. As long as you enjoyed it and the tour was good, with clear explanations and signage and you had your dram at the end, what else is there to think about?

David Stewart - 50 Years in Whisky

It’s hard to imagine a working life of 50 years in a single industry, let alone 50 years working for a single company. While such a thing may have been relatively commonplace to our grand-father’s generation such loyalty has slowly been crowded out by a faster-paced world.  It was always marked with some kind of ceremony, but generally when the employee concerned was retiring.
Diageo Blends

Blends - Still Scotch Whisky's Leading Light

So much print space nowadays is given to single malts, it’s about time we redressed the balance and had a word about blends. Also, there is way too much snobbery around single malts. Views persist they are somehow better because they are usually more expensive or rarer. Not necessarily better – just the single expressions of the building blocks that go to make fine blends. Now, in my view there’s no such thing as a bad malt, only personal taste and there are some styles I prefer to others, even within output from the same distillery.

After Bruichladdich - The Mark Reynier Interview

The Fork in the Road   As the whole whisky world knows by now the fiercely independent, iconoclastic, “progressive Hebridean distillers” at Bruichladdich have entered the corporate embrace of the French Remy Cointreau. An offer – some would say a startling offer – of £48m for the shares, plus clearing outstanding finance of £10m persuaded the owners that independence had its price.  After a 10 year journey Bruichladdich has come to a fork in the road.