Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Sleeping Beauty..?

You know the feeling when starting something and just not getting it to complete satisfaction? It just seems not to “do” what you want it to “do”? For us, this happened to what we experienced the morning after the Benelux release of “the Beast of Dufftown” in Brussels, where we had a chat with Georgie Bell, Global Brand Ambassador for Diageo’s Mortlach whisky, and therefore nicknamed “Miss Mortlach”. She had found some time in her busy schedule in between her breakfast and chocolate shopping. It was a lovely talk, where we left with a lot of information, but, at the same time, nothing at all... We decided to let it rest for a little while, go on our #WhiskyFabric trip to Scotland, have some fun, and revisit the event with the just arrived Mortlach samples from the event, so we could make some notes and find out who Georgie is, and what she does.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Stand together, fight together

It is the beginning of July 2015, Wimbledon is in its final stage, the Formula-1 circus has landed in Silverstone, and here - in the Netherlands - the Tour the France is about to kick off during the hottest day recorded in years. This takes us to go mesmerizing about what we were doing only a month ago on Islay, where it is currently 17 degrees and nothing really commercial is happening except the production of the best whiskies of the world, some of which have stolen a special place in our hearts.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A lot of But(t)s, howevers and althoughs

Our first time in Scotland was only in 2012. In our fully packed two week programme we had managed to squeeze in a two-night stay in a (great) B&B, see all of the eight distilleries and fall in love with the Queen of the Hebrides: Islay. This was at the start of our journey, and even without knowing what lay ahead of us, we already had the feeling we did not really want to leave again. A promise was made that we would come back in several years, and explore the island a little more. Several years, mind you... So the very next year, we found ourselves in a small cottage in Port Ellen, just for the two of us, during Fèis Ìle: the Islay festival of Music and Malts. One whole week, and although we would be submerged in Festival activities, we probably would have some time to explore the island herself and enjoy some of the beauties she has to offer, right?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

#WhiskyFabric Gathering - Feis Ile 2015

Plans for the Feis Ile 2015 festivities were made over a year before, where online chats began about the 200th year celebrations of Ardbeg and Laphroaig and how cool it would be to be able to meet all of the #WhiskyFabric people on Islay. 

Most people we had met only online so far, and we were looking forward to taking it offline and get to know the faces behind the avatars a bit more. So did the planning begin, and many of the so called #WhiskyFabric people planned to come to this little island of the West coast of Scotland. People making arrangements to stay together at cottages, tickets booked, and a #WhiskyFabric gathering set in motion for during the festival. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

the Beast of Dufftown

Over the past few years, we have tasted our fair share of Mortlach whiskies, and except for the rare Diageo bottlings, most of them were only available from independent bottlers, and most of the ones we have tasted we in private collections other than our own (hence the lack of proper notes).

Times change; Diageo announced mid 2014 they will be releasing a Mortlach single malt range comprised of three different expressions and a travel retail version, starting in the UK. Since the UK release there was a lot of buzz about the pricing, size and availability of the bottles, and May 7th 2015 it was time for the Benelux release party of "the Beast of Dufftown" in Brussels, and WhiskySpeller was invited to enjoy Luxury Whisky Ambassador Georgie Bell's presentation and create our own opinion.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Spirit of Speyside Bake Off

The Whisky Shop Dufftown recently ran a competition to find the best Speyside whisky inspired Cupcake of Muffin. Contestors had to think whisky, and invent a whisky inspired cupcake or muffin. Of course a (well available) Speyside whisky had to be either in the cupcake, or had to fit the recipe in a pairing. After a couple of rounds, the judges and organisers had come up with a series of cupcakes and muffins that would be judged in one final round by the festival visitors, the first weekend of May.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Speyside Incident

This is what we called it amongst ourselves for the last year because the Police had asked us not to talk about the incident online (close to impossible for bloggers, we tell ya) until the perpetrator was caught, and here is our breaking news from earlier today: Ladies and Gentlemen: they've got ‘em! The guy confessed, and is convicted and put away for several years. Like a friend of us mentioned today “may his darker parts get so worn out, an endoscopic camera does not need any artificial lights to operate”.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Benromach - touch, feel, smell and experience...

Recently we received a set of samples from the Benromach Distillery, their lovely 10 years old and the Organic 2008. The 10 years old consists of whisky from 80% ex-Bourbon barrels, 20% ex-Sherry hogsheads and had a final finishing year in first fill ex-Oloroso casks. The Organic 2008 is a certified Organic whisky from start to finish and fully matured in virgin oak casks. Some lovely expressions in the line-up Benromach has put out there.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A Sensory trip through the Seasons

After an amazing 10 course opening dinner we told you all about in an earlier post, we had some more food and whisky combinations during the Whisky Festival Noord Nederland

We were lucky enough to have obtained tickets to another of Martine Nouet‘s masterclass where she paired eight different bites - four sweet and four savoury (all prepared by Inge Lanckacker) with four different whiskies. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Whats cooking...?

Almost two years ago we made our first quick visit to Zuidam Distillers in Baarle Nassau, in the south of the Netherlands. Plans to go back to them were made a while ago already, and we were looking forward to seeing the place again with their new stills added to the distillery and other changes they have been going through recently.

Because the place is crammed beyond every reasonable square centimeter, we received the news the family have purchased a second site nearby to build a larger distillery and more warehousing, that they badly need.

It makes our proud Dutch hart beat a little faster to see this growth in this Dutch distillery, that is more and more getting the appreciation they deserve around the globe. Craft, passion and attention to details show from their products, and with every chance we get, we tell anyone who want to hear about their line of products.