Fife Whisky Festival Blog

Our malty musings...

Lindores Abbey Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

Lindores Abbey Distillery


Published on: 31/01/20 by Justine

The Lindores Abbey Distillery team will hopefully have recovered from this year’s Opening Dinner to join us for the festival at the Corn Exchange the following day. If they’re looking a little bleary eyed, we’re sure you’ll be able to forgive them!

Not only is the distillery the perfect venue for the first event of 2020’s Fife Whisky Festival (read more here), we’re delighted that the newest (and yet, strangely, maybe also the oldest!) Fife distillery, will be joining us once again in Cupar on 7th March.

Lindores Abbey Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

For those of you who are unaware, it’s widely acknowledged that the Exchequer Roll of 1494 contains the first written reference to whisky in Scotland: John Cor, a monk at Lindores Abbey, was allowed “8 bolls of grain to make aqua vitae for the King”.

Therefore, rather than creating gin whilst waiting for their spirit to mature, Lindores have decided to produce aqua vitae; more in keeping with the heritage of the site and the traditions of the Tironensian monks who arrived there in 1191.

Lindores Abbey Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

The Lindores Abbey Distillery team will be pouring some of this delicious aqua vitae on the day. At previous events, it’s proved to be very popular with Fife Whisky Festival go-ers and we’d strongly recommend you have a taste both neat and in a cheeky wee cocktail.

Lindores Abbey Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

As Lindores’ spirit approaches the moment when it can legally be called Scotch whisky – it really isn’t long now! – there’ll be the chance to try a few cask samples as well as some new make spirit. This is the perfect way to see how the flavour profile of the distillate has changed over such a short period of time and will give you a great insight into how the whisky will develop in the future.

We’re looking forward to welcoming Gary, Elliot and the Lindores team to 2020’s Fife Whisky Festival and we’re sure you’ll welcome them with open arms too!

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Glen Scotia Fife Whisky Festival

Glen Scotia


Published on: 9/01/20 by Justine

Once referred to as the ‘whisky capital of the world’, with nearly thirty distilleries operating in the 1830s, Campbeltown is now home to just three: Springbank, Glengyle and Glen Scotia.

Originally built in 1832, Scotia (as it was known then) has passed through various different hands. However,  much of the original design of the distillery still remains.

Glen Scotia Fife Whisky Festival

In recent years, however, significant investment has led to a new visitor centre at the distillery as well as updating and installing new equipment. The branding has also been revamped – although a part of us still misses those fluorescent Highland Coos! What hasn’t changed though, thanks to Master Distiller, Iain McAlister, is the quality of the liquid in the bottle.

Iain, who was born in Campbeltown, has been managing Glen Scotia for twelve years. He was able to draw on his background as an engineer to develop production at the distillery.

Glen Scotia Fife Whisky Festival

Glen Scotia has proved to be a big hit at previous Fife Whisky Festival events so we’re delighted that the team will be joining us in Cupar again in 2020 for the third year in a row.

We know that brand ambassador, Ibon, will be pouring some great drams on the day; whether it’s the 15 years, 16 years, 18 years or (if you’re incredibly lucky) the 25 years, there’ll be something for everyone’s palate.

Glen Scotia Fife Whisky Festival

And with the Double Cask expression proving itself to be a well made non age statement whisky at a decent price, this has been one of the most popular choices amongst previous Fife Whisky Festival goers. So not just something for everyone’s palate but something for everyone’s wallet too!

Be sure to drop by the Glen Scotia stand on the day to have a chat with Ibon and try some of the fantastic drams on offer.

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Morrison and Mackay

Morrison and MacKay


Published on: 7/01/20 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 absolutely superb and we’ve been fans of the Càrn Mòr range ever since.

As a result, we were delighted when Morrison and Mackay joined us for the inaugural Fife Whisky Festival in 2018 and we’re over the moon that they’re coming back in 2020!

Morrison and Mackay are independent bottlers of single malt whisky and 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.

The team has also brought the Old Perth blend back to life after an absence of nearly 30 years. Revived in 2013, this award winning range of blended malts has rightly garnered the attention of whisky enthusiasts. Each limited release in the Original, Sherry Cask or Peaty ranges regularly sells out so we’re looking forward to seeing what the team will be pouring on the day.

Just across the Fife border, the team is behind the recently opened Aberargie distillery where the first spirit was distilled in November 2017. The barley is grown in the fields surrounding the distillery and, with Morrison and MacKay’s bottling plant situated just nearby, everything except the malting can take place on site.

Make sure you head over to the Morrison and MacKay stand on 7th March. As well talking about their new distillery and pouring samples of some great whisky, they’ll also be pouring their fantastic whisky liqueur, Bruadar. Definitely a choice worth sampling!

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Deanston Fife Whisky Festival

Deanston, Bunnahabhain and Tobermory


Published on: 21/12/19 by Justine

The teams from Deanston, Bunnahabhain and Tobermory distilleries will return to Cupar for 2020’s Fife Whisky Festival and we’re delighted that this trio will be making it a treble!

Deanston Fife Whisky Festival

The South African drinks company owns three distilleries here in Scotland: Deanston, Bunnahabhain and Tobermory.

Deanston started life as a cotton mill but was converted to a distillery in 1965 with the first spirit running off the stills four years later. The whisky was originally bottled as Old Bannockburn, then later as Deanston Mill and now, of course, simply Deanston.

Distell Fife Whisky Festival

The range is all naturally coloured and unchillfiltered. The core range – Virgin Oak and 12 Year Old – are bottled at an unusual, but welcome, 46.3% abv. In addition, there have also been limited editions, such as the 2008 Bordeaux Red Wine Cask Matured, which have been bottled at a much higher strength.

Recently, the distillery launched The Union; a community for members to enjoy exclusive access to the distillery as well as new releases with a 2004 PX Finish as the first bottling.

The group’s other distilleries, Bunnhabhain and Tobermory, have or are in the process of benefiting from significant investment. Investing over £10 million in Bunnahabhain on Islay, the distillery will have a new visitor centre as well as an upgrade to the distillery itself. Tobermory, on the island of Mull, which also produces the peated Ledaig whisky during six months of the year, has also received significant investment for its visitor centre as well as upgrades to the distillery.

Distell Fife Whisky Festival

We’re delighted to welcome the Distell team back to the Fife Whisky Festival in 2020. As well as Stephen and Peter, we’re looking forward to welcoming back Scott Grierson who has recently joined the Distell team as their Key Account Manager. So that makes yet another great trio – three is the magic number!

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Loch Lomond Whisky

Loch Lomond


Published on: 17/12/19 by Justine

Loch Lomond Distillery is one of the most interesting distilleries in Scotland. It was unique when it first opened in 1994, as it was the only distillery in Scotland which produced both malt and grain whisky. The set up is extraordinary: straight neck pot stills alongside swan neck pot stills, grain coffey stills as well as a coffey still creating spirit from 100% malted barley.

Loch Lomond Fife Whisky Festival

As the latter is not made in a copper pot still, it can’t be called a single malt under Scotch Whisky Association regulations. Therefore, it has to be labelled as a single grain whisky.

As well as this single grain release, there are both single malt and blended whisky expressions in the Loch Lomond range.

Named after an island in Loch Lomond, the Inchmurrin range of single malts include the deliciously fruity and juicy Madeira Wood Finish expression.

If peat is your thing, fear not! The peated expressions in the Inchmoan (another island in Loch Lomond) range of single malts demonstrates just how versatile this distillery is!

Be sure to head over to the Loch Lomond Whiskies stand on 7th March. As you can see, the distillery set up means that they can produce many different whiskies with many different flavour profiles so there really is something for everybody!

If you’ve seen Ibon at previous Fife Whisky Festivals – or any other whisky festival, in fact – you’ll know that he is a unique character worthy of the entrance fee in his own right. We’re looking forward to welcoming him and the rest of the team back for their third FWF and to seeing which delicious drams they’ll be pouring. Ibon will also be pouring tasty treats from another distillery – Glen Scotia. That, however, is a whole other blog post…

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Fife Whisky Festival

Inver House Distillers


Published on: 29/11/19 by Justine

Here at Fife Whisky Festival HQ, we’re looking forward to welcoming back the team from Inver House Distillers to next year’s festival on 7th March.

Inver House Fife Whisky Festival

With superb single malts from Pulteney and Knockdhu distilleries, we’re sure that you’ll have plenty to savour and enjoy at the Inver House stand.

Old Pulteney 12 years is a permanent resident in the FWF whisky cabinet; an outstanding, core range dram which should be a go to for everyone.  After recently rebranding, the new 15 years, 18 years and non-age statement, Huddart, went down well with Fife Whisky Festival goers earlier this year.

Inver House Fife Whisky Festival

Situated in Wick, Pulteney is one of the most northerly distilleries on mainland Scotland and with its coastal influence on the maturing whisky, it is rightly known as The Maritime Malt.

Knockdhu distillery is where the AnCnoc single malt is produced. The whisky was given a different name so as not to be confused with the nearby Knockando distillery. However, if you know your Gaelic, you’ll be aware that AnCnoc means ‘black hill’, named after Knock Hill which is known as The Black Hill by locals.

Inver House Fife Whisky Festival

With so much to choose from, make sure you stop by the Inver House stand and enjoy a dram or two with Krissa and Gordon!

Inver House Fife Whisky Festival

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Fraiser Scotch Whisky Liqueur

Fraiser Whisky Liqueur


Published on: 27/11/19 by Justine

For those of you partial to a cheeky malternative now and then, we have the perfect thing! The good folk from Fraiser will be bringing their tasty whisky liqueur to the Fife Whisky Festival for the third year in a row!

Fraiser Fife Whisky Festival

Fraiser is a unique whisky liqueur; a blend of Scotch whisky infused with wild strawberries. At previous FWF events, it’s safe to say that this has gone down a storm.

Created by John Smith, who spent over 35 years in the whisky industry, including time at Glenmorangie as Head Blender, this delicious liqueur is perfect for both new and seasoned whisky drinkers alike who are looking for something a little different.

Fraiser Fife Whisky Festival

As well as the wild strawberries, there are notes of vanilla, almond and cinnamon which, when blended with the Scotch whisky, give Fraiser its unique taste.

It’s ideal for cocktails and both Norman and Donald will talk you through some of the recipes and give you an opportunity to taste them. How about a Strawberry and Elderflower Fizz? Or a Fraiser Royal?

Fraiser Fife Whisky Festival

Of course, bottles will be available to buy on the day through our onsite retailer, Luvians, so that you can try out these cocktail suggestions, and some creations of your own, at home.

We’re delighted that Norman and Donald will be returning to the Corn Exchange in Cupar for the third Fife Whisky Festival. Be sure to head over to the Fraiser stand to say hi and enjoy some of their strawberrylicious liqueur!

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NEAT Glass


Published on: 21/11/19 by Justine

We’re delighted that NEAT Glass will return to the Fife Whisky Festival on 7th March!

This will be their third year in a row at the Corn Exchange in Cupar and we’re looking forward to welcoming them back to the Kingdom.

NEAT Glass Fife Whisky Festival

The NEAT, or Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology Glass, was born in the USA in 2003 and has been designed to allow for all the aromas of the spirit to be appreciated without the hidden burn of alcohol on the nose. The neck of the glass intensifies the aromas of the spirit whilst the flared rim spreads the alcohol molecules separating essences from ethanol.
 
If this sounds a bit sciencey and if, like us, science wasn’t your strongest subject at school, that might not make too much sense. Which is why Gustavo and the team will be on hand to explain the science behind it all.

NEAT Glass

At previous Fife Whisky Festivals, the NEAT Glass has proved popular with festival goers due to its ability to remove the astringency of alcohol burn. It not only works with whisky, but also with gin, rum and cognac; any spirits in fact.

If you’re used to a Glencairn or a copita glass, it might take a little getting used to. However, there’s a shape and style of glass for everyone so head over to the NEAT Glass stand and give it a go.

If you like it – and we think you will! – this wee glass will be available to purchase on the day. 

 

Glen Moray whisky

Glen Moray


Published on: 15/11/19 by Justine

These are exciting times for Glen Moray and we’re therefore delighted that the team will be joining us for a Fife Whisky Festival hat-trick in March 2020!

Glen Moray Fife Whisky Festival

Graham Coull has started the next chapter in his whisky (or whiskey) story to become master distiller at Dingle Distillery in Ireland. Succeeding Graham is Dr Kirstie McCallum who is now Glen Moray’s head of whisky creation.

Kirstie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her years at (what is now) Distell including three years as Senior Blender. Dr McCallum will continue to develop the range of Glen Moray single malts as well as the blends in the company’s portfolio such as Label 5 and, recently acquired, Cutty Sark.

Recent additions to the single malt range include the delicious 21 year old Portwood Finish which forms part of the Elgin Heritage collection. Another recent release, this time as part of the Curiosity Collection (which also includes the Cider Cask Project from 2018) is the tasty Rhum Agricole Cask Finish Project – 10 year old Glen Moray whisky finished in AOC Rhum casks for approximately 24 months.

As one member of the team is looking forward to a new addition of her own (congratulations to Emma!), we can’t wait to welcome Iain back to the Kingdom in March to showcase the Glen Moray range.

Glen Moray has rightly proved to be a big hit with Fife Whisky Festival goers, offering something for everyone’s palates. Be sure to head over to see Iain and the team on 7th March and enjoy a dram and a blether.

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Fife Whisky Festival

Murray McDavid


Published on: 5/11/19 by Justine

Those fantastic folk at Murray McDavid are returning for their third Fife Whisky Festival in a row and we’re absolutely delighted to welcome them back to the Kingdom!

Murray McDavid Fife Whisky Festival

For those of you who have yet to discover this award winning independent bottler, Murray McDavid offers both single malt and single grain whisky as well as blended malts and well crafted blends within their acclaimed portfolio.

Although mothballed in 1985, Coleburn distillery in Speyside still stands. Not only is it Murray McDavid’s headquarters but its warehouses nurture the casks of whisky which it will later bottle.

Using casks from all around the world, this is where Murray McDavid’s team practises the ‘Art of Maturation’. The team has had a hard time of things of late; they’ve been busy assessing the hundreds of casks to be able to select those ready for bottling. It’s a difficult job but someone has to do it 😉

We’re looking forward to tasting some of these new releases in the not too distant future. Whether single malts from the Benchmark, Mystery Malts or Mission Gold ranges; single grains from the Select Grain range; blended malts from The Vatting range or whisky from the Crafted Blend range, Murray McDavid has got it covered. We’re quite sure there’ll be something for everyone!

Murray McDavid Fife Whisky Festival

Murray McDavid’s whisky has proved to be a big hit with Fife Whisky Festival goers at previous events and we can’t wait to welcome back the team to Cupar on 7th March for more of the same next year. Be sure to head over to their stand and chat to Paul (and perhaps Dean?) over a dram or two!

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