Fife Whisky Festival Blog

Our malty musings...

Isle of Arran Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

Isle of Arran Distillery


Published on: 3/10/19 by Justine

The Isle of Arran Distillery will be returning to the Corn Exchange in Cupar on 7th March 2020 to showcase their whisky wares for the third Fife Whisky Festival.

We’re delighted that the Arran team will be joining us again and we’re sure that you are too! At our previous events, their whisky has proved to be a big hit and we’re certain it will be much of the same for next year.

The Isle of Arran Distillery was built in 1995 and the first, legal, dram of Arran whisky, in over 160 years, was poured three years later.

Recently, history was made once again. Whereas the first distillery is located in Lochranza, in the north of the island, construction of a second distillery, Lagg Distillery, in the south at Brodick is now complete. The distillery at Lagg will be responsible for producing the Isle of Arran’s peated malts. It produced its first spirit in March 2019 with the Visitor Centre opening its doors a few months later in July.

Isle of Arran Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

As if the team wasn’t busy enough, the core range of Lochranza malts has recently undergone a make over. Now sporting a brand new look, the new branding is simple and elegant.

 

We are, of course, over the moon that the Isle of Arran Distillery and the Indie Brands teams will be returning to the Fife Whisky Festival on 7th March.

With a number of expressions to choose from, including cognac as well as whisky, be sure to drop by their stand on the day and enjoy a dram or two from their extensive range.

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Blair Athol Fife Whisky Festival

Blair Athol


Published on: 20/09/19 by Justine

The team from Blair Athol will be making its way from Pitlochry to Cupar in March for 2020’s Fife Whisky Festival.

The Perthshire distillery was taken over by Arthur Bell & Sons in the 1970s. Bell’s was taking an even greater share of the blended Scotch whisky market at this time, becoming one of the best selling whiskies in the United Kingdom. As a result, production at Blair Athol increased to provide one of the major components in the Bell’s blends.

Blair Athol Fife Whisky Festival

Although there was a single malt bottling of Blair Athol at 8 years later on in the 1980s, it’s one of those Scotch whiskies which seems to have slipped under the radar.

Since the distillery passed in to the hands of Diageo, the only propriety bottling on general release is the 12 year old as part of the Flora & Fauna range. This Highland single malt is quite heavily sherried with an abundance of blackberry and blackcurrant notes on the palate.*

Blair Athol Fife Whisky Festival

However, a trip to the distillery itself affords you the opportunity to purchase one of the distillery exclusive bottlings.

Blair Athol Fife Whisky Festival

It’s always great to welcome new exhibitors to our whisky festival and we’re very much looking forward to seeing what the Blair Athol team will be showcasing in the Kingdom of Fife next year!

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*Ok, we know that tasting notes are purely subjective so this is just our opinion. Of course, the only way to find out if you agree with us is to head over to the Blair Athol stand and taste the whisky for yourself!

Springbank Fife Whisky Festival

Springbank


Published on: 5/09/19 by Justine

The A83 is a long road isn’t it? A lengthy but beautiful drive leading to Springbank Distillery in the Wee Toon.

Springbank is actually the oldest independent family owned distillery in Scotland. Founded and owned by the Mitchell family since 1828, the distillery also produces two other single malts: Longrow (heavily peated) and Hazelburn (unpeated).

So when you visit the distillery in Campbeltown, you get three for the price of one. And that’s without mentioning Glengyle just along the road.

What’s also unique about Springbank is that it’s the only distillery to complete the entire production process, from malting 100% of their barley using traditional malting floors to the final bottling, on site.

If you visit the distillery, you’ll not find too many computers! Most of the work is carried out by actual humans. Of course, times change and technology advances but when you visit Springbank distillery, it’s great to see that certain traditions are being kept alive.

Springbank Fife Whisky Festival

We’re big fans and we know you are too. Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn have all proved extremely popular with previous Fife Whisky Festival goers and we can’t see it being any different at next year’s event. Whether it’s the latest cask strength release or the latest in the Longrow Red series, we’re also certain that these bottles will be snapped up pretty quickly!

Springbank Fife Whisky Festival

We can’t wait to welcome back Grant and the Springbank team to Cupar. We know it’s a long drive from the Wee Toon to the Kingdom so we’re delighted that they’ll be making the journey for the third year in a row and scoring a hat-trick with us! Although we don’t know exactly what they’ll be pouring, we do know that it’ll be cracking whisky.

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InchDairnie


Published on: 23/08/19 by Justine

Our good friends at InchDairnie Distillery will be nipping over from Glenrothes to Cupar to return to the third Fife Whisky Festival on 7th March 2020.

The team will be returning with the now famous InchDairnie Black Box where you’ll be able to hear all about how the spirit is produced including the different grains used and the flavour profiles achieved as a result.

Not only do you hear all of this information from the highest authority i.e. Scott the distiller, you’ll also have an opportunity to taste the spirit and judge for yourself.

InchDairnie at the Fife Whisky Festival

Distilling started at InchDairnie at the end of 2015 but it’s unlikely that you’ll see any of its whisky on the shelves before 2025. Ian Palmer, managing director of InchDairnie Distillery, has over 40 years’ experience in the Scotch whisky industry and has decided to wait until the whisky has reached perfection before releasing it.

Although InchDairnie produces spirit to be used in Macduff International’s blends, we must therefore remain patient. We know that the distillery’s first release will be Ryelaw – a rye whisky – and it’s believed to be the return of the use of rye in Scotch whisky for the first time in over 100 years.

nchDairnie at the Fife Whisky Festival

In the meantime, you can try the different types of spirit at next year’s Fife Whisky Festival including that made using a mash with a high proportion of malted rye.

The Black Box has proved to be a big hit with Fife Whisky Festival goers in previous years. What else will the team be pouring for 2020’s event? You’ll just have to head over there to find out.

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Paul John Whisky Fife Whisky Festival

Paul John Whisky


Published on: 8/08/19 by Justine

At the time of writing, plans are well underway for the third Fife Whisky Festival and we’re delighted that Paul John Whisky has decided to join us to score their hat trick too!

Not only are we celebrating the revival of whisky making in Fife as well as revering the abundance of fantastic whiskies from all over Scotland, here at Fife Whisky Festival HQ we’re also big fans of Paul John: a whisky from much further afield.

Paul John Whisky Fife Whisky Festival

Paul John single malt whisky hails from Goa, India. Made from barley grown at the ‘foothills of the Himalayas’, and with both peated and unpeated expressions in the range, these single malts have won award after award and all have proven to be a big hit with Fife Whisky Festival goers.

In the Flagship range, the Brilliance, Edited and Bold expressions are bottled at 46% and are all unchillfiltered. The Select Cask range, however, includes higher strength bottlings with whisky chosen from specific casks creating more distinct flavour profiles.

Paul John Whisky Fife Whisky Festival

The distillery has also recently experimented with different cask finishes with one such experiment resulting in The Oloroso, bottled at 57.4%.

The climate in Goa, where the warehouses are situated, causes the whisky to mature differently to that in Scotland for example. The higher temperatures not only ‘accelerate’ the maturation process but also increase the rate of evaporation. The angels’ share in Scotland is often quoted as being around 2% per year; in India it’s thought to be as high as 10%. And we thought we had happy angels here!

We’re delighted that The Great Indian Single Malt is returning to 2020’s Fife Whisky Festival with either Shilton or Craig (or maybe even both – what a fantastic double act that would be!) guiding you through the superb Paul John range.

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Morrison and Mackay

Morrison and MacKay


Published on: 22/01/19 by Justine

The first time we came across Morrison and Mackay was at the inaugural Home of Whisky Festival which took place at the Salutation Hotel in Perth in 2014. Kenny MacKay’s masterclass (and it was exactly that) was great and we’ve been fans of the Càrn Mòr range since.

Therefore, we were delighted when Morrison and Mackay joined us for the inaugural Fife Whisky Festival last year and we’re over the moon that they’re coming back in 2019!

Morrison and Mackay are independent bottlers of single malt whisky and have also brought the Old Perth blend back to life after an absence of nearly 30 years. They also describe themselves as ‘compounders of the finest Scottish liqueurs’. Compounders; what a great word!

Morrison and MacKay

Whether it’s from the Càrn Mòr Celebration of the Cask, the Strictly Limited or the Beinn a’Cheò ranges, all their whiskies are non-chill filtered, ensuring that all those lovely lipids remain to deliver some delicious drams.

Make sure you head over to the Morrison and MacKay stand on 9th March. As well as pouring samples of some great whisky, they may also tell you all about their new distillery, just across the border, in Aberargie…

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Fraiser Scotch Whisky Liqueur

Fraiser Whisky Liqueur


Published on: 22/01/19 by Justine

Undertaking some research here at Fife Whisky Festival HQ, we started to become a little worried about Fraiser Whisky Liqueur. You see, we discovered that soon after they launched this strawberry whisky liqueur, it became the top selling brand at the Glasgow Whisky Festival, the Whisky Stramash, Drambusters and Ooshka. That success continued at Whisky Live London and the Stirling Whisky Festival, the following year, as well as at the National Whisky Festival in Glasgow. So we were concerned as to whether they would have enough for the good people of Fife. There was no need to panic; there was plenty to go around for last year’s Fife Whisky Festival goers!

Fraiser Scotch Whisky Liqueur

Created by the former Head Blender for Glenmorangie, John Smith, Fraiser launched this whisky liqueur infused with wild strawberries in 2015. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength.

Fraiser Scotch Whisky Liqueur

We’re delighted that the team from Fraiser is returning to the 2019 Fife Whisky Festival. Make sure you head over to their stand on 9th March and try this innovative whisky liqueur. If you like it, and we’re sure you will, our advice would be to purchase your bottle straight away; they have a tendency to sell out, you know!

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Konrad Borkowski Photography


Published on: 2/01/19 by Justine

Konrad Borkowski is an award winning photographer and author specialising in documentary, lifestyle and whisky photography. He lives on the Isle of Jura, but photographs mainly on the whisky island of Islay as well as other locations worldwide.

His images have featured in a variety of publications including The Times, Planet Golf, GQ Germany, Italian Internazionale and Cathay Pacific Discovery Magazine. He has also worked on a range of commissions from corporate clients such as Moët Hennessy, Beam Suntory, Whyte & Mackay and Kilchoman Distillery.
Konrad is the co-author of the book “Whisky Island” of which he produced all the photographs. On 9th March, he will be displaying his whisky themed limited and open edition photographic prints from the book in addition to his latest assignments.
We’re delighted that Konrad will be joining us once again for the 2019 Fife Whisky Festival!
Konrad Borkowski
Glen Moray whisky

Glen Moray


Published on: 10/12/18 by Justine

We have a lot of time for Glen Moray here at Fife Whisky Festival HQ. So, we’re delighted to announce that the Speyside distillery, which celebrated its 120th anniversary last year, will be joining us on 9th March 2019.

Glen Moray whisky

Not only does Glen Moray offer affordable, well crafted, single malts for the whisky novice and connoisseur alike, Master Distiller, Graham Coull, has also created such delights as the Mastery; a superb single malt using whisky from the 70s, 80s and 90s released to celebrate the distillery’s 120 years.

Owned by French company La Martiniquaise since 2008, the Elgin distillery offers both peated and unpeated single malts at excellent value for money as part of its Elgin Classic Collection. If you’re looking for today’s lesser spotted age statement, fear not: Glen Moray’s Elgin Heritage Collection includes a 12, 15 and 18 year old in the range.

Be sure to head over to the Glen Moray stand on 9th March to say hi to Emma and Iain!

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NEAT Glass


Published on: 23/11/18 by Justine

The NEAT Glass is returning to the Fife Whisky Festival on 9th March!
NEAT Glass
NEAT, or Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology Glass, was born in the USA in 2003.
This glass is scientifically proven to allow for all the aromas of the spirit to be appreciated without the hidden burn of alcohol on the nose.
Taste and aroma are true measures of a spirit’s quality, defining flavours from the spirit to make your whole experience one to be savoured.
NEAT Glass
Gustavo and the team will be on hand to introduce this pretty neat little glass, talk you through the science behind it and how it can assist in your whisky tasting journey.
 
The NEAT Glass will be available to purchase on the day.