Dornoch Distillery CrowdFunding Opportunity

There’s a tiny distillery full of wondrous whisky dreams in the making. The next crowdfunding phase of development will be underway on Monday the 6th of August. These guys know what they are doing when it comes to constructing some seriously craft single malt (and other spirits) and are well worth keeping an eye on and investing in. Details below.

A pair of brothers who had previously helped to establish one of the world’s leading whisky bars and who recently launched their own gin and whisky distillery are already eyeing expansion due to the popularity of their new spirits.

Phil and Simon Thompson, who run the hugely successful whisky bar in the Dornoch Castle Hotel, constructed a distillery on site in 2016 following a successful initial crowdfunding round which saw 250 whisky lovers from all over the world invest in a bid to secure hotly anticipated casks of new make spirit from the new distillery.

After a busy, but remarkably successful 2017, which has seen the laying down of future whisky stocks and the global launch of the Thompson Brother’s Organic Highland Gin, the brothers have this week announced a second crowdfunding bid in order to secure the distillery’s long-term future at a new local site.

The pair plan to move to an old slaters yard just up the road in Dornoch in order to expand their whisky production capacity and meet the growing demand for their gin, which is now sold in eleven export markets around the globe including Japan, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, Italy and Germany.

Co-founder and director Phil Thompson explained that the level of demand for their products was “humbling” and that the plans to expand would better help them to keep their growing customer base satisfied, he said: “We never anticipated just how much demand there would be, not only for casks of our whisky, but for our Organic Highland Gin as well. The expansion means we can meet that demand while still maintaining our ruthless dedication to old-style production methods and quality levels.”

This new round of crowdfunding is set for launch at the end of July with work on the new site scheduled to begin in October 2018, and once completed will enable Dornoch Distillery to meet the demand and consolidate its presence in its existing export markets and allow it to expand further afield into new markets in 2019.

The move will entail an expansion of production capacity, a new retail space and tasting room and new jobs for the local Dornoch community. Not to mention up to 250 new private casks of Dornoch new make spirit for those fortunate enough to get in on this second round of crowdfunding.

The crowdfunding will be launched on our website (www.dornochdistillery.com) Monday 6th August at 10:00am GMT.

The Thompsons stated that their vocal support of, and dedication to, traditional whisky production techniques, which has gained growing popularity amongst whisky enthusiasts, will remain at the heart of everything they do.

The fledgeling distillery utilises heritage varieties of barley, employs it’s its own in-house cultivated brewing yeast strains, ferments for over a week and distils using direct gas firing.

Co-founder and director Simon Thompson explained: “Scotch Whisky tasted notably different in the 1960s and earlier, before mass modernisation of the equipment and ingredients. The demand for this older style – more focused on distillate character, mouthfeel and tropical fruits – is massive these days.

“No one else is making this style of whisky anymore so we wanted to really push the envelope and see if we could create a whisky which harks back to these extinct Scotch Whisky characteristics.”

This dedication to creating quality spirits also extends to their Organic Highland Gin, as, unlike the majority of gins made today, a significant proportion of the Thompson’s signature gin is made using spirit distilled in-house.

The resulting malt-heavy style gives a richer, more characterful gin which is gaining popularity around the world and the brothers believe is putting Dornoch “on the map as a Highland distilling town”.

Old Pulteney Competition Time.

The 12yo sold Pulteney is a stable dram in the Scotch and Sci-Fi headquarters pairing very well with any Star Trek that maybe on at that time. (Easy going and good quality!). There’s a new fleet coming forward. Information is still under wraps at the moment but I’m sure all will be revealed in good time. In the meantime there’s a competition that they are running. See the below press release and click to enter. 😊

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OLD PULTENEY TO SET SAIL WITH NEW

FLEET OF INSPIRED WHISKIES

On the north east shores of Scotland, where the invigorating North Sea winds meet the stunning Caithness coast, there is a town; home to a vibrant single malt whisky which captures the very essence of its location.

This is Wick and we are Old Pulteney.

Never one to rest on our laurels; we are always evolving. Inspired by the spirit of our forefathers, and in celebration of our home town and its lively maritime history; we have crafted a brand new fleet. A collection of whiskies grounded in the passion and vigour shown by those who have truly shaped our spirit.

Our new collection of single malt Scotch whiskies remains true to the renowned, classic style of Old Pulteney celebrating our lively history, yet bringing some different flavours to the fore. Created from the unique combination of brisk salty sea air and meticulous cask selection, we continue to truly be the maritime malt.

Distilled and matured by the sea, this new fleet will take you on a journey of flavour, combining a consistent reminder of our coastal home with the influence of oak casks, from which our spirit is nurtured and shaped.

Ahead of the official unveiling of the new collection of whiskies, we are giving our fans the chance to be one of the first to hold one of our new fleet in their hands.

We are giving away only 100 bottles to 100 lucky fans.

For your chance to be one of the first to own a bottle from our new collection, simply visit www.oldpulteney.com/competition

#MARITIMEMALT

Whisky Review – Daftmill Summer 2018 release

Daftmill Summer 2018 release

46% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£95 if you can find it anywhere.

Nose.

Quite light initially, but with time there’s solid bourbon barrel goodness. Vanilla ice cream. Lemon and lime cordial. A fair bouquet of floral. There’s a waxy nature to the fruit, I keep thinking of lemon sherberts, in fact there’s a whole cacophony of Sweet shop notes. There’s something a little smoky in the background, but more of a charred wood, burnt matches (without any sulphur).

Palate.

Thick on the mouthfeel, there’s a sweet creamy arrival, lots of vanilla creamy custard. A slight prickle of ginger spice going into the development which continues with lots of custard, some sweetened bread dough, almost donut like. There’s a gentle lemon curd running throughout.

Finish.

A short to medium length finish, the lemon custard lingers for a little while with a touch of charred oak coming through at the very end.

Adding water.

I’ve decided not to add any water, this Whisky is light and subtle in its delicious flavours and I fear that dilution will weaken it. I’m enjoying it too much as is basically. 😋

Conclusion.

This is an absolute dream of a Whisky. Not overly complex, but solid old school, quality matured whisky. Very drinkable, very enjoyable. Now, is it worth the money? It’s rarity would determine that it is worth it. It’s a small distillery which doesn’t produce a lot and is very selective about what it releases. I commend this. Personally (on my budget) if it was 15-20 cheaper then I wouldn’t hesitate to buy, open and enjoy. That’s not to say it isn’t worth the retail price, it’s bloody lovely stuff. Though I haven’t had a lot of Rosebank in my Whisky experience, it somewhat reminds me of it. (Just read Serge’s review after writing this I swear!!)

Sample passed to me from a good mate.

Cheers dude, that was a real treat. 😉 👍🏻

Whisky Review – Port Charlotte 10 Year old (2018). @Bruichladdich

Port Charlotte 10 Year old (2018)

50% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£48.95 from The Whisky Exchange

Bottle.

It needs to be said. The bottle is awesome. It’s old fashioned in a way, it’s exceedingly modern in others. One thing for sure, it’s unique, just like the whisky within.

Nose.

Sweet and smokey. Lots of soft, ripe summer fruits, melon, peach, apricot. A bit deeper in and the smoke becomes more prominent, some TCP, antiseptic, hospital disinfectant, all in a very good way, the fruit giving balance. Everything drenched in a nice runny warm honey. There’s a gentle herbal note in the background, slightly liquorice, slightly earthy and organic. Lovely. Having let this sat while taking a phone call it’s changed, it’s quite an evolving dram, now more vanilla and some stoned fruits, quite custardy.

Palate.

This is one of those whiskies that delivers what it promises on the nose with added oomph. A luscious, oily mouthfeel delivering waves of thick fruit and smoke, with a herbal edge. Soft, ripe yellow fruits, all sweetened with sugar syrup. A thick treacly smoke, barbecue glaze on juicy braised peach halves. Subsequent sips gets juicier, more fruit and smoke, intertwined effortlessly. It’s really sip-able. Delicious. The 50% ABV is barely noticeable and carries flavour so well. In the mouth the development goes on and on, waves of fruits, the occasional sweet liquorice hint, chewing some raw spice and liquorice root, then back to the juicy fruits, there’s a lot going on.

Finish.

Smoke returns on the swallow, akin to exhaling cigarette smoke after having a mouthful of tropical fruit juice. There’s a dry bonfire mouthful with some mossy liquorice root lingering around for a medium to long period. Mouth watering, lip smacking, thirsty for more.

Adding water.

A few big drops added. The nose gets slightly drier, with some more bonfire influenced smoke, a little less of the medicinal, slightly more twiggy and herbal, but still with the flavoursome fruits. The palate continues along this theme, there is all around a less intensity as one would expect, and this slightly takes more away than it gives. The finish is slightly drier, more herbal. It’s easier with a splash of water, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s exceptional without dilution.

Conclusion.

This works. Simple. It works as a summer or autumn dram, it’s got a great balance of fruit and smoke and is compellingly sip-able. Love it.

I am extremely pleased to see this as being an official aged core range return for Port Charlotte. It’s bloody good stuff. I had already bought a bottle before receiving the super sized sample, and I’ll be getting another one as I’m a bit obsessive about opening things without a backup…I know…weirdo…but seriously, this is delicious stuff, if youre a previous Port Charlotte fan, you should not be disappointed. I’m hoping, as is suggested this will be around for a long time, I can see this being a stable opened bottle and go-to peaty dram for a long time.

Thanks to Bruichladdich for the official review sample.

Whisky Review – Glen Keith 1994 – 23 year old (Claxton’s) @claxtonsspirits

Glen Keith 1994 – 23 year old (Claxton’s)

51% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

Available soon from Master of Malt

Nose.

First sniff from the pour and we have some chocolate and almond paste. It’s clear that’s it’s a first fill bourbon barrel maturation as it has that intense vanilla spiciness you would expect. After a while in the glass things have settled and now we have a richer honey, toffee and chocolate mix. Sticky toffee pudding. A gentle almond nuttiness rounds it off.

Palate.

Sweet and sour (similar to the 1995). But a richer, honey sweetness. Any sourness dissipates as quickly as it’s noticed and we have waves of moreish toffee, pepper, cinnamon dusted milk chocolate and caramel. It’s proper yummy.

Finish.

The sticky sweet toffee sticks around and becomes more of a dry treacle. Initiating a lot of involuntary “Mmmmmmm” noises. It’s really tasty, rich and rewarding.

Adding water.

Small drop added. The nose is now more concentrated on the chocolate, milkier, but full of flavour. The palate is absolutely delicious, all the same as before, but less boisterous and deeper for it, it really invades the nooks and crannies of the mouth with tonnes of sweet honey, caramel,chocolate and all that lovely delicious calorie rich pudding notes. It’s bloody excellent undiluted. With a drop of water, it’s bloody magnificent.

Conclusion.

This is what the word sumptuous means to me. Rich, fattening, flavoursome Whisky, with a little bite, but a whole lot of chew. Really excellent tasty stuff.

Thanks to Claxton’s for the official review sample.

Whisky Review – SMWS 10.141 Indulgence by the sea @SMWSUK @Bunnahabhain

SMWS 10.141 Indulgence by the sea (Bunnahabhain)

12 years old

Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel

174 bottles

59.5% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£66 from Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Nose.

Gentle vanilla and a salty sea water on first reaction. Subsequent sniffs give some tarty lemon citrus oils and a smoking tinder fire in the background. Creaminess comes out in time with a burnt butterscotch, and some pine twigs crackling on an open fire. A lot more time in the glass and things become a combination of maritime and hospital waiting rooms, with a large glass of hot toddy, honey, lemon and ginger.

Palate.

Beautifully thick, oily mouthfeel, the palate is faithful to the nose. Lots of warm sweet honey and lemon, a touch of saltiness at the back of the tongue. Quite a bite of spice from the ABV, with hot ginger and a spot of clove. There’s a touch of smoke, but not a lot, more charred oak than anything.

Finish.

The honey and lemon sticks around for a Medium length finish, the beautiful oiliness keeps a layer of spice and saltiness on the tongue for a little longer.

Adding water.

A good splash added. Things have got more lemon squash with some dry liquorice spiciness. The nose has some more salty maritime notes now reminiscent of fishing villages in the sunshine. The palate is sweet and sour, lots of fresh lemon, some liquorice and a salt and spice edge. With water this is a lighter, easier dram, personally for me it’s better undiluted, it’s a little more vibrant and exciting undiluted.

Conclusion.

This is quite a summer suitable dram, one to enjoy during the lighter nights.

Thanks to SMWS for the official review sample.

Whisky Review – Glen Keith 1995 – 22 year old (Claxton’s) / @claxtonsspirits

Glen Keith 1995 – 22 year old (Claxton’s)

49.2% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£103.09 from Master of Malt

Nose.

A strong apple and pear initial sniff. Followed by some waxy lemons and creamy malt. There’s a touch of oak char and some cinnamon. A little time passed and the nose is sweeter now, more confectionary and very much reminiscent of refresher sweeties. The lemon citrus is brighter, sweet and bordering on lemonade. Old powdered lemon bonbons!

Palate.

Sweet and sour initially, even quite acidic. This quickly turns thick on the mouthfeel and creamy. Leading with lemon juice, and adding a little custard cream in there for good measure, it’s been a while since I’ve had a lemon puff biscuit, but it reminds me of those! The development goes back into creamy vanilla and sweeter citrus territories.

Finish.

The finish is bright, zingy lemons, with some sweetened vanilla, and lemon toffee bonbons. Very consistent all the way through nose, taste and finish.

Adding water.

Small drop added. The drop of water has made this dram a little less vibrant, the nose is creamier, the palate has a little less of the acid and more of the creamy vanilla and even more of a cake like note to it. The finish is lighter. The water has made this more accessible, but probably just a little less interesting, I personally prefer this without the water added. It’s awesome undiluted.

Conclusion.

For 22 years young this dram still has a good amount of zing to it, very suitable for summer sipping. Very impressive.

Thanks to Claxton’s for the official review sample.

Benromach 20th Anniversary Tweet Tasting (10yo 15yo 20th Anniversary bottling). @Benromach

A few speedy tasting notes from the Tweet Tasting I was lucky enough to attend on Monday 30th of April 2018. Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Benromach.

Benromach 10 Year Old

43% ABV

£34.96 from Master of Malt

Nose.

Lots of sweet ginger spice, stewed apple, zingy citrus in the background, a touch of gentle smoke. In time thick porridge oats and custard cream coming through now, some countryside elements, hay and earthiness. barley oils coming through now, touch of pine and floral. good evolution going on. This is an honest to goodness whisky man’s whisky!

Palate.

Thick, oily viscous stuff. barley rich, a touch of peat amongst some brown sugar encrusted baked apple pie. Moreish and devilishly sip-able, the sweet peat alongside jammy fruits and sugar balances excellently, turning drier towards the finish, but more of a dry syrup pleasantness.

Benromach 15yo

43%ABV

£51.83 from Master of Malt

Nose.

A greater depth to the 10. More countryside berries, jammy, stewed down fruits, floral (elderflower?), ginger, cinnamon, caramel, and lightly toasted sugar topped creme brûlée. You can get your nose RIGHT into this one, practically dipping! Theres a prominent chocolate orange (Jaffa cake) thing now, with a Jamaican ginger cake surrounding it!

Palate.

Another thick, sweet dram, with some dark chocolate, lots of creamy quality sherry, kirsch cherries, rich honey. Lots of pudding richness with a fraction of the calories! Sticky toffee pudding with a side of mandarin compote covered dark chocolate. Im smitten with this one – lots of MMMMM Mmmmm mmmmmm going on!

Benromach 20th Anniversary

56.2% ABV

£299.95 from Master of Malt

Nose.

Dark chocolate shavings, yellow fruits, peach, apricot, leather, dusty maturation warehouses, some cherry, tobacco, really starting to talk its complexities now after a period of being quite closed. With a little more time we get more sweet shop notes coming through now, dusting sugar, Victoria sponge (jam and cream), alcohol soaked raisin, loads of chocolate, stewed cherries, gentle floral, stately home drawing room dust, oak and leather.

Palate.

fruity spicy big hitting complexity. Lots of rich apple, cherry, orange and sultana. A big old blast of fine spices, cinnamon, pepper. Thick spiced toffee, chocolate covered and the air from a musty cask filled warehouse. Special! Very special

Thanks to @thewhiskywire and @Benromach for having me along to the Tweet Taste. It was an absolute privilege to check out these drams, and I can’t wait to get stuck into the 15yo I have sat there begging to be opened.

Whisky Review – Kilchoman Port Cask (2018) @Kilchoman05

Kilchoman Port Cask (2018)

50% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£77.95 from Nickolls and Perks

Colour.

Don’t usually talk colour, but this is natural and pink!

Nose.

Initial smoky burnt jam followed by lots of fruity jelly beans. Hints of farmyard. Mainly strawberry, but there is a mixture. Next sniff has a mix of creamy vanilla ice cream with blackberry sauce. Now there’s some ribs on a barbecue with fruity bbq sauce. Next sniff and we’re back to the fruity confectionary, but now with some accompanying cherry pie pipe tobacco. Next sniff is a little more mentholated, cherry tunes (cough sweets). This is an evolving and evocative nose. Always going along the theme of fresh, fruity, slightly smoky, rich and mouthwatering.

Palate.

In the deep end of red fruit sauces, reduced wine, fresh jam, blackcurrent cordial. Next follows some aromatic smoke, almost onto the soon to be defunct menthol cigarette aftertaste. The ABV tingles with youth and adds to the mentholated effect. Some peat reek comes through, farmyard-y, more fruit quickly follows, burnt red berry jam. Beautiful thick mouthfeel throughout. There’s a touch of heat which will level out with some water.

Finish.

Short to medium in length, strawberry chewits, hints of traditional Anglo bubblegum, some dry ash and old bonfire. Menthol fresh aftertaste. Marlboro Ice blast!

Adding water.

A good few drops added. The nose has taken a softer, sweeter back step. Less smoke, still a touch of menthol, lots of red fruits, riper than before, stewed now, on the boil to become jam. The palate has become a red fruit plethora, a berry basket, ripe and totally delicious. A slightly smokey whiff here and there, but it’s all fruit and a touch of menthol, especially on the finish where the menthol comes back in force. I love this with and without water, it’s massively intense either way. I think the undiluted just tips the balance for me in complexity, but diluted it is a bloody huge fruit bomb.

Conclusion.

For a 3year old peaty port matured whisky this packs punch and flavour. It’s bloody delicious. I’m not 100% sure in the price point yet, but I believe it won’t be particularly cheap, but what you get here is an honest to goodness crazy fruit, red berry blast, with a lovely smokey background. It’s great Kilchoman, and I’m straight in to get a bottle or two. I adored the previous port cask release, and if you did too, I don’t think you will be disappointed with this one either.

Thanks to Kilchoman for the official review sample.

Whisky Review – Glenmorangie Spios

Glenmorangie Spios

46% ABV

Non chill filtered

£74.81 from Master of Malt

Nose.

Creamy and buttery with some spiced Highland toffee. Some time in the glass later, and things haven’t really changed a lot, it’s very light, subtle, and has a buttery vanilla overcoat with a slightly herbaceous toffee background. It’s quite summery with some light floral and hay. Some more time gives some fruitiness in the form of ripe apricot and a touch of peach.

Palate.

The palate is where this comes alive, more vibrant than the nose, it does retain a lot of the flavours gathered on the nose, presented in a very well balanced way. The creaminess, fresh cream and new churned butter is very present all the way through, the arrival has some light toffee, syrup and clove spice, some ginger, which then gives way into the development, where things get a little thicker, a touch of the fruit comes through, zingy juicy peach and some apricot skin. The mouthfeel is beautifully creamy and thick. Some of the warming spice from the rye casks hits the back of the throat with the swallow.

Finish.

Peach juice and spice for a short while overtaken by that thick and creamy butter notes coming back with some drier liquorice herbal notes left on the tongue.

Adding water.

After a small splash is added we have a less creamy and a more spicy intensity on the nose. The palate reflects this with a spicier intensity throughout the experience, a slight lacking in the fruitiness of the undiluted, with the creaminess still there in droves. The finish is very similar with a slightly more intensive spiciness.

Conclusion.

A well balanced, very tasty whisky. It’s most definitely a step up from the core range of the Glenmorangie, and fascinating to discover. A very interesting and successful cask maturation experiment.

Thanks to Glenmorangie for the official review sample.