Thursday, 22 January 2015

In conversation with Andrew Hart

We had the pleasure of meeting Andrew “Andy” Hart for a couple of times at festivals with the stand of Whisky Import Nederland. Andy is always ready to answer your most difficult questions about his products with a big smile on his face. Every time it is great to meet again and have a chat about the very lovely bottlings they have.

We became curious about the story behind “The Maltman” bottles and the man behind the stand. Andy is from Meadowside Blending, run by his father and himself. He was very kind to answer some of our questions and let us have a look in the world of an independent bottler.

Monday, 19 January 2015



noun: fledgling; plural noun: fledglings; noun: fledgeling; plural noun: fledgelings

~ , a young bird that just has its feathers and is learning to fly.
~ , a person or organization that is immature, inexperienced, or underdeveloped.
~ , a spirit that has not been matured fully, and is on its way to becoming whisky.

All similar to what WhiskySpeller is now, officially blogging together one year. Today. January 19th 2015.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Whisky Weekend Amsterdam 2015

The time has come. The first festival of the year is here again. For us, this was to be a new festival to explore in the Netherlands. Whisky Weekend Amsterdam. The Netherlands has a good spread of different festivals during the year, from small to massive events, so we are spoiled for choice. At the end of the year we make a list and decide which festival to visit. We are always looking to visit new events, but sadly can't visit them all. Plans are made, tickets booked and options kept open.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Knockdhu: A modern Tradition

After the Spirit of Speyside Festival earlier in 2014 was over, we stayed another week and visited the Knockdhu Distillery where we met distillery manager Gordon Bruce and his right hand Alistair “Ally” Reid. After this great day Alistair accepted our request to send some questions over to get some more information on this beautiful distillery and its workings. A great place tucked away just of the main roads, but surely is one not to be overseen.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

"Better blends then, compared to most single malts now"

Every self-respecting Dutch whisky connoisseur knows of the existence of van Wees' shop in Amersfoort, their different lines of independent bottlings and their relationship with the industry in and outside of Scotland. Responsible for the fame and success of this business is Mr. Han van Wees, born in 1931 and still going strong. On November 28 2014, the Nestor of the Dutch whisky community held a tasting in the attic of his store in Amersfoort, reason enough for us to go there and enjoy the remarkable line-up.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014


November 26th we were selected as one of the lucky few to join a Twitter Tasting from the Lakes Distillery organised by The Whisky Wire. In the lined up was their blended British whisky the One, and the company's gin. Their gin was a bit of a new experience for us, since we have not tasted many of those before.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Whisky in the Jarr - part three: Going to church

After having been introduced into the world of Jim Beam and being directed into drinking some rare old XXL niceties on the Saturday afternoon, the Saturday evening was open for us to step into the church and browse the tables, shake some hands, hug some friends and share a dram with people we just met for the first time. Whisky brings people together, and so does the largest whisky festival in the Netherlands.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Whisky in the Jarr - part two: XXL tasting with the Director

In part one of our visit to Whisky Live Holland in the Hague, we already told about Hans Offringa's masterclass about American Whisky - especially the Jim Beam expressions. Like other masterclasses during the festival, it lasted 45 minutes, so there was little time for chitchat and making elaborate tasting notes. Time was deliberately kept to 45 minutes for the visitors to the main event, in order for them not to lose too much time. Douglas Laing's Jan Beckers had arranged to draw the longest end of the straw though; his XXL masterclass with a selection if six Director's Cut whiskies would be in between the two main sessions of the Saturday and lasted a very relaxed one hour and forty-five minutes.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Whisky in the Jarr - part one: American Whiskey

Half-way in this year's whisky-season, the time has come for the largest festival in the Netherlands; Whisky Live Holland in the Hague. The biggest festival automatically means the largest number of people, and sadly - the most expensive one. Both the number of people and the prices for the entrance and extras during the time of each session is for many people a reason to not to attend this festival. As with most whisky festivals around the globe, Whisky Live Holland had it's own share of masterclasses too, which were selectable separate from, during, or in between the sessions, so no precious time would be lost or forgotten while walking around and chatting with the many people present.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Day 4: Tom in a Towel

Photo: Martijn Krolis
The day before we had to go home again had arrived, and was once more planned with great events. When the breakfast was devoured again, it was time to get everybody in the van on time to drive from Dufftown to Tomintoul following the B9008 and the B9136. Not having visited, we trusted the GPS to get us there on time, and via this amazing route with beautiful vistas, we came to think we must have missed a sign at some point. Just when we were about to turn around at the next possibility, this possibility turned out to be the distillery, beautifully tucked away at the side of the only road leading to the village with the same name.