Kingsbarns Distillery and Visitor Centre opens

Kingbarns Distillery and visitor centre

Kingsbarns Distillery and visitor centre

The Kingsbarns Distillery and the visitor centre opened its doors to the public on 1 December. Since then the centre has had visitors from the village and local businesses as well as (inter)national tourists interested in the whisky making process.

The distillery is situated in Kingsbarns in the Scottish Lowlands. It’s owned by the family Wemyss, known for their blended malts and single casks. Thanks to this new distillery they can add an own single malt to their product line.

In a few weeks they’ll start distilling at Kingsbarns, after the last checks on the equipment have been done. That way a new Kingsbarns whisky might be announced in January. This means we can expect the first Kingsbarns single malt around the beginning of 2018.

For those who can’t wait until then, the distillery together with the visitor centre, the shop and the bar are already open. Every day there are guided tours followed by a tasting of Wemyss malts. On the website you can also register for a more extended and specialised tour.

Source: Kingsbarns Distillery newsletter, Evy Vinck


Gordon & MacPhail no longer family run business


Michael Urquhart, managing director until September.

Michael Urquhart, managing director of Gordon & McPhail, is retiring in September. For the first time in the 120-year history of the family company, someone outside the family will run the distillery. Ewen Mackintosh is now the chief operating officer and he will take over from Michael Urquhart after the transition. Mackintosh has spent his career with Gordon & MacPhail, starting out as a student while he was attending the University of St. Andrews. Since 1991 he has been managing whisky supplies and the development of the Benromach Distillery. “We are moving from what I describe as a sibling partnership, myself, my two brothers, and my sister down to the next generation. It’s a positive evolution,” said Urquhart. Urquhart will stay involved in the business in an advisory role. He will also continue his work with the Scottish Council for Development & Industry’s Highlands & Islands Committee.

Source: Whiskycast

Photo report: Speyside trip

On May 24th I went on a trip to the Speyside with the whisky club The Maltclan. We boarded a ferry in IJmuiden (The Netherlands) and arrived in Newcastle the next morning. The goal of the trip was to visit distilleries in the Speyside – what else? We went by the Benromach distillery and afterwards to the Benriach distillery for a nocturne tour. We also did a tour at the Glenfarclas and Deanston distillery and had a short stop at Glenfiddich. Because it doesn’t have to be all about the whisky, we also visited some landmarks and cities. Inverness, Edinburg, Loch Ness and the Speyside Cooperage were on our programme.

On our way to Scotland.

On our way to Scotland.


Caledonian Canal

Caledonian Canal






Photos by Dram 242. Taken with a smartphone.

Early Christmas for Mortlach fans

Oct11-Mortlach16FF-2Recently Diageo decided to double the capacity of the Mortlach distillery. They built an entire new distillery and will now launch a new series of Mortlach single malts. This is a big step in the relaunching of the company’s single malts since The Singletons eight years ago. Diageo is trying to restore the spirit character as closely as possible.
Four new varieties of Mortlach will come out in the summer of 2014 in Asia, the US and Western Europe. There will be a Rare Old (43,4%), Special Strength (49%) and a 18 year old (43,4%) and 15 year old (43,4%) single malt. People who had the honor of tasting one of the new Mortlach single malts say that the whisky has a very different taste than the other Mortlachs. Apparently they have a hint of tropical fruits, green apple, milk chocolate, vanilla ice cream and pecan nuts which make the whisky more elegant. Details on the price will follow later on but as we read on different news sites, the series will be affordable.

Great distillery tour USA

TN whiskey trail

The Tennessee Whiskey Trail takes you across the 11 distilleries in the state and the history of moonshine and spirit. It all started when the government shot down legal distilleries. Moonshiners saw their chance to make some money out of their activities. Unfortunately, they could not follow the demand and distilled their products with paint thinner, kerosene and bleach. This blinded and killed their customers. It went as far as good moonshiners asking the courts to recognize their products and forbid the “rotgut ‘shine”. Luckily today, such issues are no longer the case. But legitimate, unaged spirits can be fun to explore. That is what the Tennessee Whiskey Trail wants to do. It will take you to all kinds of distilleries, some newly opened and others with a long rich-distilling tradition. You have Ole Smoky, George Dickel, Corsair, Green Brier Distillery and of course … Jack Daniel’s.

More information can be found on their website.



“Scallywag” announced


Independent Whisky Specialist Douglas Laing & Co announced their new Speyside Vatted Malt, named Scallywag. It will be a small batch bottling created using Speyside malts only. Including these whiskies are Mortlach, Macallan and Glenrothes. Scallywag matured in Spanish sherry butts and is bottled at 46% alcohol. Tasting notes show it has a complex taste with hints of vanilla, Christmas pudding, dark chocolate and sweet tobacco. The details are also in the packaging that is inspired on the Douglas Laing family Fox Terriers (as you can see in the image).


Expansion Islay distillery

The small Islay distillery has grown to be so popular over the last two years that the owners have built a new warehouse to store the casks and meet the demand of the market. The current production is 26 casks each week. The warehouse has a capacity of 10,000 casks and costs £450,000. Highlands and Islands Enterprise supports the project with a £110,000 grant. The Kilchoman Distillery, which holds Machir Bay and Islay Single Malt, grows its own barley for whisky and is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland.

Source: Island News & Advertiser

Schiphol Airport sells €250,000 bottle

We all love our tax free shopping at the airport, perfect for last minute souvenirs. Schiphol in the Netherlands has set a record. In the retail shop you can buy The Dalmore Brilliance, for 250,000 euros. It’s the highest value sale of an individual spirit in the travel business. Schiphol Airport is known for its rare and vintage whisky collection but this single malt from 1926 is a special edition. Included in the price is a decanter from diamond specialists Gassan Diamonds, who believe the taste of this whisky is “timeless”. The whisky is made by master distiller Richard Paterson and was distilled and filled to cask in 1868, 1878 and 1926. According to Paterson, the buyer “will experience a whisky that is flawless and refined with an outstanding Oloroso and Apostoles sherry cut from the world renowned Gonzalez Byass bodega.”

Source: The Moodie Report

Photoreport: Jameson Experience Midleton

At the end of June we went to the Jameson Experience in Midleton. Since the new distillery wasn’t available for visits, we visited the old distillery site. The tour was very nice and at the end there was a chance for eight persons to try and distinguish three types of whisky: a bourbon, an Irish whiskey and a Scottish whisky. Afterwards we got offered a free drink. Instead of a dram of Jameson we could also chose a cocktail consisting of Jameson, ginger ale and lime. Slainte!

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