One More Beer & Whisky festival in Örebro!

One more beer and whisky festival in Örebro!On 18-19 November 2011, Fri - Sat:13:00-23:00)  it is time for Örebro Beer & Whisky Festival at Conventum Arena. It is the fourth time Örebro has a beer and whiskey festival and for the past years success as the festival is here to stay. This positive reputation has spread.

What’s happening?As visitors walk around and buy tasting, ranging from 10 cl beer to whiskey 2 cl. Then we have a number of beer and whiskey tastings, master classes and various seminars.
The festival will also host competitions ie. Best Christmas beer, festival best beer and best whiskey.

Food at the festival?At Convent Arena, you have several different options for eating. Not only can you enjoy a meal on top of the Arena Balcony, try something from our various fast food concept or even a snack in the café.

Other stuff!The aim of the festival is that visitors should have extended knowledge of beer and whiskey, and that there should be a festive event.

Winners of last year's fair were:
The festival's best whiskey over 18 - Caol Ila 1984 - Berry's Brews, imported by Clydesdale
The festival's best smoky whiskey max 18 years - Ardbeg Supernova - Moët Hennessy
The festival's top non-smoky whiskey max 18 years - Engelbrecht 10 years - Bergslagen Distillery
The festival's best Stock - Federal Lager - Sigtuna Brygghus
The festival's Best Ale - Scottish Strong - Sigtuna Brygghus
The festival's best Porter Stout - wa keg Greatness sports - Narke Culture Brewery
The festival's best wheat beer - Aying Ur-Weisse - Aying, imported by the Brill & Co.
The festival's best Christmas beer - Julnarren - Craft Brewers



Why a festival?We believe that our event will attract visitors who do not normally go on the beer and whiskey festivals. One reason is that the festival hall is located in central Örebro. Another reason is that we profile ourselves as a festival for the general public.
It turns out that the interest in beer and whiskey has increased in recent years. It started more and more micro-breweries and importers broaden their whiskey and beer portfolio.
Another reason why we have a festival in Örebro is that we have received very good support from many importers and brewers who are happy to exhibit at our festival.

Who are the exhibitors?We will have about 50 exhibitors including are micro-breweries, whiskey and beer importer, master brewer, whiskey principals and a variety of chocolates and delicatessen business. One of the exhibitors include: Narke Culture Brewery which has won several awards for the best Porter as Ratebeer.com.

Who else might be there?
Hopefully Top Beer & Whisky magazine,
Pub & Pints magazine, blogs www.topbeer.se www.topwhisky.se

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Meet Fintan Collier- Jameson’s Newest Ambassador

Meet Fintan Collier- Jameson’s Newest Ambassador

Here are some questions I put to him;

Where are you from?
I’m from the city of dreams or otherwise known as Carlow. About one hour south of Dublin, it’s the second smallest county in Ireland but is renowned for its nightlife and beautiful scenery. Rural Ireland at its best, it’s impossible to walk down the street without running into people you know.

What are your first impressions of Sweden?
My first impressions of Stockholm are the amazing architecture that frames this beautiful city. Along with the charming aesthetics of city, I was over whelmed by Sweden’s huge words and tiny car-parks but overall I have a great first impression. I have however been forewarned about the unyielding winter.

What do you think of the Irish Pubs in Sweden, have you visited many yet?
I’ve been to a few Irish pubs and they’re quite similar to bars you’d find around our Temple bar area in Dublin. I was impressed by the large selection of both whiskies and beers in many of the pubs I visited but I still have a bit more exploring to do on the pub scene.

  
Which whiskies do you work with?
I work with a few different whiskies, most notably Jameson and the Jameson Reserve Collection. Also I work with Paddy, Powers and the Single Pot Still collection which includes Redbreast 12 YO, Redbreast15 YO and the Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy, all of which have been a huge success in Sweden.


What can you tell us about them?
Jameson is the number one selling Irish whiskey globally and famous the world over for its smooth taste. Jameson is a perfectly balanced whiskey and the rest of the Jameson collection capitalises on different components of Pot Still whiskey and seasoned barrels to give each whiskey a different character and taste experience.
Both Paddy and Powers have a slightly maltier taste with Paddy giving a soft, crisp flavour, and Powers a more full bodied experience.
Redbreast 12 YO, Redbreast 15 YO and the Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy are all part of the Single Pot Still range which means they are made from only Pot Still whiskey and this gives them a more robust and assertive nose and taste.
  
Any funny stories behind them?
There are some interesting stories behind how some of the whiskies got their names, for example the Redbreast got its name because the Manager of the distillery back in 1903 was a keen bird watcher. Paddy whiskey used to be called Cork Distilleries Whiskey but one of their sales representatives, Paddy Flaherty was such a huge charismatic character that bars and shops would mail Cork Distillery back then and say they wanted some of Paddy’s whiskey and so the name has stuck to this very day.


Why should a whisky taster try them?
Irish whiskey offers a unique taste experience from that of Scotch or Bourbon for many reasons which we pride ourselves on in the production process. In my experience whiskey connoisseurs are always looking for something new and different and Irish whiskey is just that and more. From the malted and un-malted barley which give both sweet biscuit flavours and spicy creamy tastes. To the smokeless fuel, and closed kilns we use to malt our barley which gives it a distinctly different taste to that of Scotch. Also the blend of Pot Still whiskey which gives the spicy robust flavour and especially in the Single Pot Still collection where only pot still whiskey is used. All of these characteristics give whiskey connoisseurs something different to excite the senses.

 What advice would you give to someone starting out trying whiskies?
One of the best things I’d tell a new found whiskey fanatic to do would be to go along to a whiskey fair or a specialist whiskey or malt bar and try as many small samples as they can before investing in bottles. Each whiskey has so much character and they will not know what they like until they’ve experienced many different varieties. You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive first.


 How do you find the Swedes regarding their knowledge and taste concerning whiskies?
The Swedes have huge knowledge when it comes to whiskey and they have a huge love for smoky whiskies. In Ireland instead of a smoky taste we have spiciness, especially in the Single Pot Still collection. When Swedes want that extra kick in their whiskey I think they often underestimate an Irish whiskey but I think we have that extra punch they want from our Pot Still whiskey addition.

 What advice would you give more experienced whisky drinkers?
 The best advice I could give an experienced whiskey drinker would be to go visit a distillery. It’s not until you visit a distillery and take in all the smells and flavours from each stage of the production process that you can really appreciate a whiskey and understand how many levels of character and flavour each whiskey has. Also the angel share aroma in a maturation warehouse is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever encounter.

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Sweden’s Smogen Whisky!

Sweden’s Smogen Whisky!
Here we meet Pär Caldenby, responsible for the production and the daily management of the company Smögen Whisky. The company was founded in summer 2009 and produces single malt whisky with great character and maritime influences from the Bohuslän coast.
The distillery is 1 km southeast of Hunnebostrand, just under a mile north of Smögen island. The character of the whisky will mirror the location, a typical strong character with a distinct smokiness and coastal feel.


Distiller,
  
What is your background?
My background is that of a lawyer within commercial litigation and mediation. Apart from that, I have been a whisky enthusiast for the last 20 years, having travelled and visited behind the scenes at a number of occasions, at mainly Scottish distilleries. I am also the author of the “Enjoying Malt Whisky” – a rather well received book on the subject.

How long have you worked with the Distillery?
Planning started early in 2009, when I had decided I wanted to quit the then current law firm. As I had much of the knowledge and contacts in place, that phase went smoothly and quickly, so actual construction of the distillery began in September of 2009. Come spring 2010, I was overseeing the fitting out of the distillery and then, on August 4th, 2010, the first mashing in was performed, followed by the first cask filling on August 20th.


All good whiskies have a story, what’s the story behind yours?
Legal whisky!

 Can you tell us the history behind the Distillery?
Well, the history is short as such, as it has not been around for long, being erected in a new building and with new stills etc. However, the thinking behind the distillery is that there was an apparent free place in the market for a true west coast malt whisky, with a powerful and smoky character. The obvious place to be, then, is Bohuslän, where the maritime climate is at its sternest in Sweden. To make sure we take advantage of this, the warehouses are also allowing plenty of air through them, so that the maturing casks will be influenced by the surroundings – and we do have the salt stained windows to prove what that effect will be!

 Is there anything unique with your Distillery?
The whisky produced will be powerful, smoky and with great character. The focus is on high quality in small batches, with full manual manufacturing and direct supervision. Although we will be happy to use all local produce, this desire will always be subordinate to the quality aspects. Over time, there may be a variability of raw spirits produced, to offer an even broader whisky experience – but our spirit at present is focused on the heavily peaty characters. It is possible to reserve your very own cask of Smögen whisky.



What’s the aim/ goal of the Distillery?
To be around for the long haul, with a characterful and excellent quality whisky, with the clear influences from the west coast. For whisky enthusiasts and others that wish to find serious quality and character in their whisky, they shall have to look no further. I am certain that our focus and devotion to this will give us an increasing base of followers and sponsors over time – and with whisky, time is something we have a lot of.
  
Talk us through the distilling process at your place, describe a regular distilling day?
 The first step is to charge the stills, most importantly the spirit still as that is run at a leisurely pace to give the right quality – thus taking its sweet time to finish. Upon charging, the stills are locked up and started, at full power. The spirit still will come to a boil at around 84,5° C about one and a half hours later, requiring some attention. The wash still will likely take a bit over two hours to boil up, at around 94° C, and will then require a lot of attention for about ten minutes, to avoid foaming over. While waiting for the stills to come in (start flowing), the mashing in is performed, mixing 200 kgs of crushed, peated malt with first 700 litres and then another 350 litres of hot water, giving a strike temperature of 64° C. The worts from the mash are usually drawn off during 5-6 hours, eventually giving 900 litres of worts in one washback. Back to the stills, the wash still will mainly see to itself and upon it starting to flow and with the foaming period over, all you really have to do is take care the cooling water does not run too warm and then to shut the still down after around 5,5 hours of flowing, when the flow is down to around 1 percent alcohol. The spirit still is a different matter, as the flow is divided into three very separate sections – the foreshots, the heart and the feints. The foreshots and feints contain impurities and will go to the feints receiver, for re-distillation with the next batch of low wines from the wash still, to give tomorrow’s spirit run. The heart however will go into the spirit receiver and subsequently be filled into oak casks and rolled out into the warehouse to mature. The points at which the heart is cut out from the spirit run are critical for the character of the spirit you will produce. Our set-up ensures a heavier and smoother type of spirit, as we cut really low into the run, allowing some heavier congeners to come into the heart. It gives a gutsy character to it.

Is the export market not an important market, countries?
Not really. Our focus is on the Swedish market, although we have experienced a bit of interest from both Norway and Denmark, both countries being of course quite close and also rather similar in their interest for good malt whisky.

Any secrets/myths we should know about?
Well, you should know that when the big companies make whisky, they run it by numbers (or even through a computer), relying on the inevitable differences in character to even out through the large volumes produced and subsequently mixed, prior to filling into (often rather too tired) casks. With us, rest assured there is no computer involved in making the whisky – all decisions on when to take action and most importantly the cut points on the spirit run, are taken after a nosing of the spirit and decision that the character is exactly the right one. The character of the spirit does change a lot during the distillation, so cutting exactly right is positively critical, to ensure the right quality and character goes into the casks. And should you wish to reserve your own small cask of whisky, take our whisky school or come on tour and see how whisky is produced, you are warmly welcome to us. Also check out the website at www.smogenwhisky.se and read the blog, which is all about whisky and updated almost on a daily basis.


Is it distilled like the regular whiskies?
Distillation is done twice, first in the wash still, then in the spirit still. This is in line with the typical standard for malt whisky across the globe. However, the design of the stills is very important and our wash still is unusual in its very broad-necked and powerful design, delivering a very distinctive first distillate. This design is really only found at Lagavulin and Bunnahabhain distilleries, on Islay. We also have to recognise that our stills are minute by Scottish standards, at a mere 900 and 600 litres of volume. This, too, will have an impact on the richness of the spirit.

 Any tips for people out there still searching for their right whisky?
 Try more whiskies. And don’t be afraid to try out new things, perhaps in unexpected territory. Make up your own mind as to what you like – and how you like it.

What gives your whisky its unique taste? Why are whiskies in Sweden developing and good?
 The really core defining factors of our whisky will be the heavily peated malt we use, the way we mash in, the design of our stills, the wide spirit cut and the fresh and vital oak casks that we use for maturation, including brand new casks, through former Sauternes casks, to fresh Bourbon barrels from Makers Mark. I believe that our whisky is made with a complete focus on quality and character, to be the best quality single malt whisky we can produce. I would also believe this to be more or less a similar focus in our Swedish colleagues’ distilleries, by contrast to Scotland, where nearly all malt whisky is actually made in order to be used as a constituent spirit in blended whiskies. This means there is actually more focus on a good single malt character here in our distillery, than in many other places. That’s why we will be so good.
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Meet Robbie From Glengoyne Distillery

Meet Robbie From Glengoyne Distillery


Can you tell us the story behind some of the main whiskies, their inspiration etc?
Up until 4 years ago it was a mixture between refill and sherry casks. We changed it over as its now 100% first fill sherry casks. We had to change the packages and prices. It’s a more expensive product as it costs £650 for a first filled cask, a refill costs £45. Year on Years sales are increases 80%. It retails here for about SEK 700 and back home for about £90.
Its different from all other whiskies at Glengoyne as its made from sherry.
100% Sherry whiskies are rare.

Glengoyne 17
Its how whiskies should taste.
Nice balance sherry sweetness.
43% alcohol level
30% sherry first fill casks
70% is refill casks

The yeast we source from an Irish company called Kerry. They are based at Manstire a Scottish village

Which whisky are you currently working with, and what’s happening there?
Glengoyne 21 years.
Taste wise its heavily sherries as its 100% sherry, similar to Christmas pudding, Spicy honey sweetness, very mature ripe red apples.
Soft mouth feel. Spiciness and a bit of sugar after taste.

Is the Swedish market an important market for you?
Absolutely. 90% of our whisky is exported. Our biggest sales are in the shop. Key countries we export are Germany, France Sweden and we’re developing American market.

What makes Scotch Whisky so special?
They have a huge tradition and have been doing it since 1494. Have a wide variety of flavours. Which you might not have with American or Irish Whiskies. You can get similar ones in Scotland.

What’s your favourite current Whisky?
Glengoyne 10 –year old is a good single malt whisky.

Any tips for people new to whisky?
Buy the best whisky you can afford.
The problem I see is people buy cheep whisky when they are young and this can turn them off whisky for life. They might end up thinking all whisky tastes the same.
Be adventurous. Try as many whiskies from as many regions as possible.

Any myths you would like to explain?
People need education, I’ve heard stories of people sending Whisky back thinking its gone off, not realising this is how its supposed to taste.

Anything else you want to tell us?
Distillery is going great. Glengoyne 25year old will be released in2012.Three single casks will be released specifically for Sweden. Warehouse capacity is increased in 2011 from 7,000 casks to 45,000casks

Compare Irish and Scotch?
Its subjective you can’t say one is better than the other. Its down to your mood. You would probably take a lowland or Irish in the summer, and a highland or peaty whisky in the winter.

Glengoyne Distillery is a whisky distillery continuously in operation since its founding in 1833 at Dumgoyne, north of Glasgow, Scotland. Glengoyne is unique in producing Highland single malt whisky matured in the Lowlands. Located upon the Highland Line, the division between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, Glengoyne’s stills are in the Highlands while maturing casks of whisky rest across the road in the Lowlands. Unlike many malt whisky distilleries, Glengoyne does not use peat smoke to dry their barley, but instead uses warm air.

Stills
In the early nineteenth century, due to the heavy taxes on spirit production imposed by the government, many whisky producers were forced to operate illegally. The area around Glengoyne was full of hills and forests which provided excellent cover for the distillers. Records show that at least eighteen illicit whisky stills were operating in the area.
In the 1820s an Act of Parliament was passed, which reduced the cost of the license required to distil and duty on spirit. Shortly after the introduction of the 'Excise Act of 1823' (or 'Walsh Act') the first of these illicit stills came into official existence, with Glengoyne following later in 1833. Although Glengoyne only officially existed from 1833 and no records exist from before this date, it is believed that distilling on the site pre-dates that with a local historian writing that the smoke of "illicit stills" was visible in the area in the early 19th century. Glengoyne distillery's water supply comes from the Glengoyne Burn which flows from the nearby Dumgoyne hill into the distillery grounds before continuing on to Loch Lomond.
Unlike many malt whiskies Glengoyne does not use peat smoke to dry their barley but instead favours the use of warm air. The clear and bright appearance and distinctive flavour of the Glengoyne single malts are credited to this lack of peat smoke. This rare characteristic is utilised in the marketing of Glengoyne with the use of the promotional slogan "The authentic taste of malt whisky untainted by peat smoke".
As a result of the use of unpeated malt Glengoyne has been noted as being stylistically closer to a Lowland single malt as opposed to a Highland single malt.

Products
At its current operating capacity Glengoyne produces over one million litres of pure spirit (new make spirit) every year  which is used in a number of different whiskies. The distillery has won various awards for its products including a double gold awarded to the 17 year old Single Malt at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a gold for the 15 year old Scottish oak wood finish for "best wood finish" by the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival. Glengoyne 17 year old was voted World's Best Single Highland Malt in the "Best of the Best" whisky tasting, organised by "Whisky Magazine".
Due to the rapid growth recently of the Scotch malt whisky industry (recent figures indicate a 9% growth in 2002) and of the premium whisky market as a whole, Glengoyne is mainly marketed in the UK, Scandinavian, French, German and USA markets
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Meet The Master Distiller from IDL.

Meet The Master Distiller from IDL.

Barry Crocket Please tell our readers your back ground and how long have you been involved with Irish Distillers?
Meet The Master Distiller from IDL.

I have been involved with Irish Distillers all my working life, I began working in Middleton when I was 17-years.I’ve been Master Distiller for 30-years.

What are the major developments within Irish Distillers?
The present distillery was commissioned in 1975 so I saw the transition from the old one to the new at that time. The task of the late 1970 /mid 1980 period was to preserve the heritage of the brands in a new distillery, but to also present Jameson as a particularly smooth flavoured whiskey suited to the international taste.
The success of Jameson over the years has demonstrated importance of distillation and warehousing methods at Midleton distillery.
This success is so dramatic that an expansion of Midleton distillery is now under way, costing 100 m Euro this will lead Midleton Distillery and Jameson well into the 21 century. On completion the distillery capacity will be 64 m litres of pure alcohol and will mean the Irish distilling industry will significantly exceed the height of its success in the 19 century.

Can you tell us the story behind some of the main whiskies, their inspiration etc?
In the mid 1970’s the Company decided to re establish the exports of Irish whiskey. The initial focus was on the United States but Jameson Irish Whiskey is now an international brand established in world wide markets. Just this year we celebrated Jameson passing the milestone of 1 m case sales in the United States with worldwide sales exceeding 3 million. Meanwhile there is increasing interest in brands such as Powers Gold Label as well as Paddy.
These brands each have a unique identity in terms of heritage and taste. The flexibility of Midleton distillery ensures the individual characteristics of each are maintained.
This flexibility is demonstrated in the brewing system employed and of course adhering to the tradition of triple distillation for each of the whiskey brands.
Where maturation is concerned significant research into maturation was undertaken in the 1980s.
Better quality casks were purchased. Close business relations with cooperages in Spain and Portugal were formed.
By laying down stocks of whiskey in different cask styles we have the ability to extend the Jameson range, thus we have such expressions as Jameson 18, Jameson Gold and Vintage Reserve.
More recently we presented the Single Irish Pot Still category. This is a major development in the story of Irish whiskey since it represents the availability again of the original expression of the Irish Whiskey style. People would know this from the Redbreast range, but this year we have launched Powers Johns Lane as well as Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy, in addition Greenspot has been represented.


Which whiskey are you currently working with, and what’s happening there?
Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy-The old distillery in Midleton was recognised for decades for the excellence of its whiskies and the distillery was always keen to enhance its reputation
Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy as a single Irish Pot Still style adheres to four aspects.
 Firstly it’s brewed from a mix of malted barley and a high percentage of unmalted barley. This gives specific flavours, apple ripe, pear peach flavour. The mouth fee has a soft roundness and smoothness of palate.
Secondly the style of distillation. There are three separated stages of distillation. New spirit is distilled to 85% volume. This enhances light flavoured honey and floral type aspects of the spirit.

Thirdly, the casks in this case are all US Bourbon barrels first fill,  These tend to give a vanilla style toasted wood flavour.
Fourthly with Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy maturation we use a certain proportion of new American Oak casks. The result a spiciness as well as green berry spiciness imparted to the spirit.
In summary all casks from Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy are American casks, a small percentage are brand new.  For Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy we wanted to see more flavour in the whiskey. The Single Irish Pot Still whiskey fulfils that role.

Describe the composition of Middleton Very Rare?
This is blended of Pot Still whiskey with grain whiskey. Its matured in first fill Bourbon casks. All casks are individually selected.
Midleton Very Rare has been on the market since 1984 and is an annual selection.

Is the Swedish market an important market for Irish Distillers?
Yes the Swedish market is an important market for us. We envisage a great future for Jameson as well as Redbreast.

What makes Irish whiskey so special?
There are a number of reasons for this. It especially offers the delicate aroma arising from the barley as well as a evenly balanced taste potential on the palate. It is ideal and perfect for a novice, whereas the experienced whiskey connoisseur can experience the flavours ranging from apple /pear to vanilla characteristics.
The Pot Still range offer great possibility particularly those at top end of the market.

What’s your favourite current Whiskey?
Jameson 18 years offers a super mouth feel sensation, mellow softness and fruity effect on the palate.

What do you look for in a whiskey?
I look for balance, for example in the aroma; I don’t want one individual flavour which dominates. Mouth feel silky velvety feel on the palate, long finish, lingering. Influence of raw materials, ie Barley.

What can you tell us about Midleton that we may not know?
The first thing is that on single distillery site at Midleton there are two distilleries. The first is clearly a Pot Still, and the second is a grain whisky distillery. Midleton is a plant which is both flexible and complex.
Bear in mind that we got to produce all the whiskies with the resources available. We have full control over all stages of the brewing / distillation and maturation process.

 

Any myths you would like to explain?
John Jameson was particularly careful in the selection of barley for distillation when he founded his distillery.
Though this sounds like a good story it is true that barley selection is vitally important. John Jameson was correct when insisting
on quality selection. This policy remains vital through to today.
Irish Whiskey lost its advantage principally due to prohibition in the United States. This is partially true, but the more important reason
was poor economic circumstances in Ireland.
Irish whiskey has not recovered from its great days during the 19 century.
This was true for a long time, however the growth of Jameson means that Irish Whiskey will shortly be far more successful than ever in the past.
 
Which qualities would you admire the most in Redbreast?
We are returning to our roots with Pot Still whiskey.
The sheer range of flavours available. Cask styles are giving their fullest expression.
There are three expressions within the Redbreast range. Redbreast 12 year Redbreast 15 and Redbreast Cask Strength which was launched just recently.

Which qualities would you admire the most in Powers Gold Label?
Strong and more fully flavour coming through represents what most people expect from Irish whiskey.
This is a whiskey originally a favourite among Irish people.
This makes it perfect for a Hot Whiskey or Irish coffee especially in cold winter weather.

Anything else you want to tell us?
Our Distillery is based near Cork, the south of Ireland which has a modest climate. We source our water from a local stream. All barley used is purchased from farmers in the vicinity of the distillery. We warehouse all whiskies on site at Midleton.

Which Whiskey would you recommend for a novice and a more experienced drinker?
A whiskey drinker coming new to the world of Irish whiskey could do no better than commence with Jameson. While a more experienced drinker should try Redbreast 12 year old, this has an enhancement of flavour and balance, the distillate style combined with influences from American wood with Spanish sherry lead to a unique flavour experience.

What is the future for Irish Whiskies?
Single Irish Pot style was the bedrock and will now re-establish itself and it will add dramatically to the reputation of Irish Whiskey.
Meanwhile Jameson Irish Whiskey continues to go from strength to strength.

 

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Isle Of Arran Whisky

Meet Euan Mitchell, The Managing Director for Isle Of Arran Distillers.
Our distillery is on the Island. Ours was the first legal distillery on the Island. There has been a few illegal ones in the mean time. Ewan McGregor opened the first cask in warehouse of distillery three years afterwards and he still has a cask in the cellar!

Please tell our readers your back ground and how long have you been involved with Isle Of Arran


What are the major developments within your distillery?
Regular Arran is unpeated single malt.
We make a small batch of peated Arran called Machrie Moor and have 1500 bottles released. Typical Arran fruity baked apples, cinnamon and spice. Nose I not immediately apparent, not heavy it comes afterwards. Relatively young light medium bodied.
Note- We bottle at 465 alcohol, we don’t chill before bottling filter. No artificial colouring.

Can you tell us the story behind some of the main whiskies, their inspiration etc?
The Arran Malt- Malted barley completely air dried. No smokiness double distilled. Three basic ingredients by law, yeast barley and water. The water we source from Loch na Davie
Taste- Fruity characters whisky calvador. Spicy after taste peppery. Oily on the palate.

Which whisky are you currently working with, and what’s happening there?
Arran Malt 10-years. You can order it as the Swedish monopoly.



What makes Scotch Whisky so special?
Why should someone try your whiskies?
Their very approachable in style, something to suit everyone. Arran is great for people new to single malt whisky.

Anything else you want to tell us?
This story shows whisky irony. Our former distiller was Gordon Mitchel, the man who went to Ireland and made a peated Whisky. Here returned to us and made a non peated one.

What advice would you give a whisky novice?
Learn with a whisky book in one hand and a glass in the other. There’s a huge range of flavours so something will appeal.

What advice would you give an experienced whisky drinker?
It’s easy to be seduced by the heavily peated whiskies, but don’t forget the others and keep an open mind.
Arran Single Malt is a Single Malt Scotch whisky distilled by the Arran Distillery, Lochranza, Scotland, the only distillery on the Isle of Arran. Arran Distillery was founded in 1995 and is the first legal distillery built on the Isle of Arran in over 150 years.
The distillery of the Isle of Arran was founded by Harold Currie, former director of Chivas. There used to be about fifty distilleries on the island, but most of them were "moonlight" or illegal distilleries. The most recent legally founded distillery on Arran, called 'Lagg', closed in 1837.
Until recently a proportion of the casks were stored in the warehouses of Springbank, due to a lack of room in the distillery, and the legal impossibility of extending the current warehouses at the Arran distillery. However, the distillery now has a revolutionary storage warehouse, on site that allows easier access to barrels. The distillery offers a cask purchase scheme which offers private individuals the opportunity to own their own cask of whisky, which can be stored on site at the distillery.
The Arran Distillery is a patron of the World Burns Federation and as such has created a Robert Burns Single Malt and Robert Burns Blended Whisky in honour of Scotland's National Poet. They are the only whisky distillery to be able to use the image and signature of Robert Burns on their packaging.
The whisky of Arran is mostly used to produce their Single Malt Whisky, but a small proportion also goes into the production of their range of blended whiskies : Lochranza Blend, Robert Burns Blend and Arran Gold Single Malt Whisky Cream Liqueur.
The Arran Distillery is now owned by a group of private shareholders and the Managing Director is Euan Mitchell. 2010 saw the release of a 15th Anniversary bottling on the occasion of the Distillery Open Day on 3 July. Autumn 2010 also saw the release of the first official 14 year-old to be released by the Distillery. The first peated Arran Single Malt (called Machrie Moor) is now available since December 8, 2010.
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Jim Murray-The Whisky Expert (Exclusive Interview)

The Whiskyman Jim Murray

Here we meet the number one Whisky expert in the world. Jim is 100% INDEPENDENT he what he likes about whisky.

Before we get down to the Questions we prepare a drink of Ballantine´s 17. Jim takes the glass of whisky and cups it with one hand and covers it with the other, why you wonder? To bring it up to body temperature, this activates the flavour. Note- you should not wear aftershave when tasting whiskies as it interferes when smelling the whisky. When smelling whisky do so at an angle, letting the rim of the glass touch just above the lip, as you sniff using one nostril. Jim never drinks a whisky without smelling it first.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you joined the Whisky crusade?
When I was 14-years of age I wrote about sport and at 16 Brian Moore told me to the join the press instead of continuing school. So I took his advice.
I fell in love with whiskies at a young age. When I was 17 I saved up to go to Inverness to Talisker Distillery.I even worked there, I was so eager to learn. I began writing tasting notes before they ever existed. Later I was in America coaching football and in the evenings I would try whiskies (Rye Bourbon, Single Malt) and all the time I was writing notes.

I read about whisky but wine writers could write about whisky, it was rubbish. I thought about it and decided I would do it. By my mid 20’s I knew I would go into Whisky writing. The Times Newspaper ran a competition for whisky buffs, I said if I won it I would pack in my regular job. 4,000 people entered the competition. I came second by default, I should have one but our section of the exam got wrong information. But anyway coming second was good enough for me and I joined the whisky campaign. Then when I started writing I wrote to publications but they told me get lost, as the interest wasn’t there. Back in those days there was no internet, knowledge was very limited. People believed what ever they were told.

What’s the latest book you have been working on? And who is it aimed at?
The Whisky Bible 2012, suitable for everyone. I can’t tell you which is the number one whisky in the world for 2012, but the bible is out very soon, the 23rd October
In the last year I tasted 1210 different ones!


If we look at some of the key Whisky producing countries can you give us your opinion on their whiskies and latest developments there.

Ireland-
Its taken 20 years for the Irish for the Irish to fall back in love with Pot Stills but its finally happened. I wanted these whiskies produced many years ago Red Breast and Green Spot. These are fantastic whiskies; I like the unique character, the split personality of the whisky. It’s got a mouth feel unlike any other whisky out there.


Scotland
Scotch whisky is going through an interesting time. There are fewer finishes which is good, ie “finished in this cask” This had got tiring. It will be interesting to see where Scotch whisky goes next. I think people there should learn about blends!
I’m a big fan of the Ballantine´s 17. It’s consistent like the Johnny Walker Black. For these and any good whiskies the balance is key!

US
The most exciting thing in American Whiskey is Buffalo Trace Single Oak. (This is a project that Buffalo Trace has been working on for over ten years.  It is intriguing, but at the same time a bit confusing.  This is Called the Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project.  It started with 96 American White Oak trees from the Missouri Ozarks.  The trees were selected for their grains, some tightly grained that comes from slow growth, and some loosely grained that comes from rapid growth.)

Canada
The Canadians are waking up to their ability, they have had a serious lack of confidence. There are great Canadian Whiskies out there. Huge potential for Canadian Whisky


Japan
I worry for Japanese whiskies because of the poor Sherry Casks they have been using.

Any other countries producing whiskies which you are a fan of? Sweden Spain?
I like the Swedish Whisky. The lack of tradition is not a problem, tradition you can create. Is the whisky good? Because this is what’s important at the end of the day.
If you got good ingredients then you can have good whisky. For these newer countries lack of tradition can be good as they got freedom. I spoke to the Swedish distillers and the Danish distillers and told them “Go for it!” For Mackmyra I told them make Rye Whisky since you live in the north!


Which whiskies would you recommend a novice should start with and what advice would you give them?
This novice thing is utter crap. It’s like we patronise people. I’ll give you an example. If someone who had never seen drama came to you and asked what play they should see. And you send them to the school play because you think they would not appreciate top class drama? Treat the novice like the regular whisky drinker, a great whisky is a great whisky.


What advice would you give to people who are tiring of the whisky they have drunk for the last 30 years?
Should they be bold or stay with something similar to their old vice?
Be bold experiment, don’t stay with the same thing for 30-years, if you do of course you’ll tire of it! Taste every whisky with an open mind and mouth!

Can you separate fact from fiction regarding some of the whisky talk out there?
Ok, I will because there is some much nonsense put out there by people without knowledge of whisky. There are people writing about whisky who have neither the knowledge nor passion. People who are writing only for the prestige of it, hoping to be famous. I have no interest in fame or seeing my name in books. I studied whiskies for 20 years before I had the audacity to write about it.  There is so much marketing crap being said!
Never put water into whisky. You’re changing the composition if you do.
Forget about novice/beginner, treat all whisky drinkers the same, have fun mix whiskies.
The more a whisky is distilled the better it is- this is rubbish, because theoretically the more you distill a whisky the more it loses its taste. Another one is when distillers say the colouring doesn’t affect taste. If you add caramel which is made from sugar of course you’ll affect the taste. This really annoys me!

I won’t ask your favourite whisky but have you a favourite type?
I’m a huge fan of Rye whisky. My predictions for Kentucky are finally coming true. I like a whisky which seduces me!


What else should we know?
Here is another example of myths.” Single malt is superior to blend” This is rubbish
A good Single Malt is a good Single Malt; a good Blend is a good Blend!
In 1991 I felt I had sufficient knowledge about whiskies. A blender said to me “Jim you should be out there letting people know about whisky.” I had to create whisky language to describe whisky because there wasn’t any there.

Some tasting notes are so pretentious, it scares people off. Sometimes I compare my notes to notes of other and think what a load of rubbish this person has written.
I’m sceptical of other who are in the trade for wrong reasons. What I write is true, and them moment I start taking backhanders is the moment I would lose all credibility. And if you haven’t got credibility you got nothing!

Price does not equal quality. Jameson Standard is a fantastic whisky. I’m not involved in prices and I judge the whisky in my glass.

Jim Murray a humble honest whisky man………a living legend!



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