Having visited Kingsbarns distillery several times now, we can say that a few things have changed since St Andrews Day 2014 when, founder, Douglas Clement’s ‘From Dream To Dram’ distillery was officially opened.
The first spirit came off the stills in January 2015 and in December this year, those members of the Founders Club, who supported Kingsbarns right from the start, will be rewarded with the inaugural bottling. We look forward to a general release shortly afterwards. If the recently released two year old spirit drink, created from two first fill ex-bourbon barrels, is anything to go by, these are exciting times.
Doug has since moved on to more success with a new venture, Fife Ambassadors, and the distillery is now owned and operated by the Wemyss family, who were partners from the beginning. Here at Fife Whisky Festival HQ, we still mourn the loss of the amazing Velvet Fig, a limited edition blended malt from Wemyss Malts. Thankfully, they still create plenty of other delicious whisky.
As you can probably guess, we’re big fans of the Kingsbarns and Wemyss Malts teams and we’re delighted that they’re returning to the Fife Whisky Festival on 9th March. Whether it’s from their blended malts ranges (bottled at both 46% abv and at batch strength), their new Family Casks range or their single cask offerings, whichever dram you taste, you’ll not leave the Wemyss Malts stand disappointed!
For those of you who also enjoy a malternative, Wemyss’ Darnley’s Gin and Darnley’s Spiced Gin aren’t too shabby either! Now that the new Darnley’s gin distillery is up and running at Kingsbarns, it’d be the perfect opportunity to taste them if you haven’t already.
As well as celebrating the talents of so many whisky makers from all over Scotland, here at Fife Whisky Festival HQ we’re revelling in the renaissance of whisky making in the Kingdom. So, we’re over the moon that the lovely folks at Eden Millwill be joining us once again on 9th March.
Eden Mill is the first combined distillery and brewery in Scotland. Although whisky making has only recently returned to Guardbridge, the place itself has quite the whisky making heritage. Converted to a paper mill in 1872, it was previously known as Seggie Distillery, founded in 1810 by none other than William Haig of the illustrious Haig family. The distillery continued until 1860 when it was transformed into the Guard Bridge Paper Mill.
In 2012, the site reopened as Eden Mill Brewery and distilling returned to Guardbridge two years afterwards. Using smaller size casks for maturation, and employing an innovative wood policy, Eden Mill’s whisky came of legal age this year and releases of their first single malts have been very well received. Eden Mill is currently in the process of building its brand new distillery at the Guardbridge site.
We’re looking forward to welcoming back Caitlin and Euan to 2019’s Fife Whisky Festival!
If you’ve seen the film The Angels’ Share, you’ll know that when Harry arrives at the distillery in the minibus with Robbie and the rest of the group, they park up outside Glengoyne. When they head inside the distillery, however, as if by magic they’re suddenly in Deanston!
The distillery started life as a cotton mill but was converted 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.
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.
We’re delighted to welcome the Distell team back to the Fife Whisky Festival in 2019. As well as pouring delicious Deanston drams, the team will also have whisky from their sister distilleries, Bunnahabhain and Tobermory (including Ledaig) for you to taste.
The first time I came across Adelphi was during a visit to the Speyside whisky festival way back in 2007. My friend and I went to a whisky and chocolate tasting hosted by Alex Bruce and, to be honest, we’d never heard of Adelphi before; we only went because the tickets for our first choice event had sold out.
Well, a big thank you to all those people who bought tickets to the other event as it was at that moment that I caught the Adelphi bug. For the last ten years, I’ve spent the first hour of many a whisky festival loitering around the Adelphi stand like some kind of weird whisky stalker.
This independent bottler, with strong links to Fife, bottles single cask, cask strength whisky with the number of bottles ranging from 100 to 700. The whisky is all naturally coloured and non-chill filtered. Oh…and delicious. Absolutely delicious.
As for the Adelphi team, well, they’re a busy bunch of people. As well as their single cask offerings, Adelphi also created The Glover – a fusion of Scotch and Japanese malt whiskies – in 2015 shortly after opening their very own distillery – Ardnamurchan – in 2014.
As well as the impressive single cask offerings, 2018’s Fife Whisky Festival goers were able to taste the Fusion range: Glover 4 Edition, E&K, Winter Queen and Brisbane. We were very lucky indeed that the last one was launching in Melbourne and Cupar almost simultaneously!
We’re absolutely delighted that the Adelphi team will be returning to the 2019 Fife Whisky Festival on 9th March. Be sure to pay them a visit on the day.
The name pretty much sums it up! Each bottle of whisky from The Single Cask comes from, well…a single cask. With the mission of ensuring that each whisky ends up in your glass in its purest form, what’s also great is that all of the Single Cask releases are un-chillfiltered, naturally coloured and bottled at natural strength.
This independent bottler started in 2010 and now has whisky bars and shops in both the UK and Singapore. As well as offering superb single cask bottlings, The Single Cask team can also arrange cask ownership.
We’re delighted that The Single Cask will be sharing their whisky wares with you all once again at 2019’s Fife Whisky Festival. Make sure you say hello to Tom and enjoy a dram or two from their splendid selection!
Springbank is the oldest independent family owned distillery in Scotland. Founded and owned by the Mitchell family since 1828, the distillery actually produces three different single malts: Springbank, Longrow (heavily peated) and Hazelburn (unpeated).
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.
We can’t wait to welcome back Grant and the Springbank team to the
We’re delighted that Luvians, from Fife, will be the onsite retailer for the 2019 Fife Whisky Festival. With over 30 years’ experience in the wine and spirits industry, rest assured that you’ll be in the hands of experts when making your purchases on 9th March.
Luvians was established in the early 80s, opening its first shop in Cupar on Christmas Eve, 1983. This might be thought of as a brave move considering that the early 80s was a difficult time for the whisky industry. Many distilleries were closed due to a drop in demand and it was also a time when the main focus was on blended whisky rather than single malts.
The move paid off! It illustrates the enthusiasm that the team of whisky ambassadors has always had and Luvians is now recognised as having one the most fantastic ranges, from the finest single malts to the best blends.
As well as having access to all tasting samples at our exhibitors’ stands, water and a souvenir Glencairn glass to keep, your entrance fee also gives you a £5 Luvians voucher which you can redeem on the day against any bottle costing £35 or more.
Over three years ago Karen (Angels’ Share Glass) and Justine (Kask Whisky) met to undertake the Scottish Field Whisky Challenge.
On the day, we blind tasted over 85 whiskies (we stopped counting at 85!) and there were ten of us in total on the Readers’ Panel. We were divided up into two groups: group A tasted whiskies 1 to 43 and group B tasted whiskies 43-86. The first round was easy – simply answer the question ‘could this be whisky of the year?’ with a yes, no or maybe for each dram. After eliminating the ‘no’ whiskies for each group, we changed drams; each group tasting the best twenty or so of the other group’s. The criteria was the same for this round. For the third, and final round, both groups tasted the overall top 22 whiskies but this time, tasting notes and scores were required. Not sure about the others but, by this point, our tasting notes looked like they’d been written by chimps with crayons!
It was a fantastic day; we met some amazing people and learned so much about whisky. At a blind tasting, you’re not influenced by marketing, price, others’ opinions… it’s just you and your palate.
We continued to regularly meet for a dram or two and it’s this which led to us setting up the first Fife Whisky Festival last year. Thanks, Scottish Field! We owe you a dram. Just the one mind; not 85!
Graeme Dempster of Bruce Stevenson has an abundance of knowledge in the whisky sector and so we were delighted when Bruce Stevenson wanted to help with the sponsorship of the festival.
Bruce Stevenson is one of the largest independent Insurance Brokers in Scotland. The company provides first-class, comprehensive insurance broking and risk management services for both business and private clients.
For over 30 years, Bruce Stevenson has gone from strength-to-strength – continually growing as a business and establishing an enviable reputation within the industry. They offer a comprehensive portfolio of products and services covering a wide range of specialist areas including Distilleries and Whisky producers, which have been exclusively designed to meet the demands of today’s customers and the insurance industry as a whole.
As well as providing Corporate & Commercial insurance and Risk Management services, Bruce Stevenson currently have three offices throughout the UK, in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Galashiels employing over 85 specialist staff.
Macroberts LLP have very kindly sponsored our festival programme for the day and we thank them for all their continued support regarding the festival.
With over 150 years of experience, They are more than just lawyers! Macroberts are industry experts. Keeping up to date with relevant law and industry challenges. Our strength comes from our collaborative relationships and our connections. Their extensive network of clients and contacts throughout Scotland, allows them to offer advice to clients working from and in Scotland.
Colorado Construction is a construction, engineering and finishes business founded by 3 canoe enthusiasts after an idea they had whilst kayaking down the Grand Canyon, on the River Colorado. They specialise in listed buildings, luxury residential developments, and the design and build of distilleries and visitor centres such as Kingsbarns, Inchdairnie, Starlaw & Torabhaig.