Fife Whisky Festival Blog

Our malty musings...

Matugga Rum Fife Whisky Festival

Matugga Rum


Published on: 16/01/20 by Justine

It’s a real pleasure to welcome new folk to our festival so we’re delighted that Matugga Rum will be joining you all at the Fife Whisky Festival for the first time.

We know we’re a whisky festival – the only whisky festival in the Kingdom of Fife, no less – and you’re expecting plenty of superb single malts, glorious single grains together with beautiful blends and blended malts. However, we also like to mix things up a bit and offer a few malternatives for your discerning palates and we think you’re going to love this!

This Scottish distillery’s signature Golden Rum is produced using molasses from sugar cane from East Africa which is then finished in English oak casks. To produce Matugga’s Spiced Rum, distiller Paul combines the spirit with various spices including black tea, ginger, cloves, vanilla, cardamom, and cinnamon.

The distillery has also released a limited edition Muvano Rum bottled at 46%. With only 1000 bottles, this rum is non chill filtered, naturally coloured and doesn’t have any added sugar. The company, which started distilling in Scotland in 2018, is growing from strength to strength and it’s fantastic to see the team doing so well here in the UK as well as in Europe.

Matugga Rum Mavuno

Whether you enjoy your rum neat, over ice or in a cocktail, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the versatility of the Matugga Rum range. It’s always good to try something different now and again so be sure to head over to the Matugga stand on 7th March and say hi to Paul and Jacine and try some of their delicious range.

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GlenAllachie Fife Whisky Festival

GlenAllachie


Published on: 14/01/20 by Justine

The fantastic Speyside distillery, GlenAllachie, will be joining us for the first time in March and we’re delighted to welcome them to the Kingdom of Fife!

GlenAllachie Fife Whisky Festival

As distilleries go, GlenAllachie is a relative newcomer to the Scotch whisky industry. It was built in 1967 by Mackinlay-McPherson; a company formed five years previously to operate the wine and spirits side of the then Scottish and Newcastle Breweries.

GlenAllachie became part of Invergordon Distillers and then, later, Pernod-Ricard/Chivas and the vast majority of the distillery’s output was matured for blending purposes. As a result, GlenAllachie hasn’t always been well known as a single malt and may have fallen under the radar of some.

Let’s fast forward to 2017 when Billy Walker, Trisha Savage and Graham Stevenson acquired the distillery and to the middle of 2018 when the first core range of GlenAllachie single malts was released by the team.

From the age statements – 10, 12, 18 and 25 years – it’s clear that these bottlings contain whisky from the previous owners. However, with all these releases being bottled at 46%, non-chill filtered and naturally coloured, they set a high standard for future expressions from the present owners.

GlenAllachie Fife Whisky Festival

As well as the GlenAllachie core range of single malts, the team’s blended malt, MacNair’s Lum Reek, which contains both peated Islay as well as Speyside malts, has proved to be a hit with whisky enthusiasts.

GlenAllachie Fife Whisky Festival

At the inaugural Scottish Whisky Awards, GlenAllachie was voted Scottish Whisky Distillery Of The Year 2019. Having visited the distillery in November the same year, one half of the Fife Whisky Festival team can certainly recommend the tour! Even for those who have visited many distilleries, this is one of the most thorough and interesting tours we’ve been on with some great drams waiting for you at the end.

We’re delighted to be able to welcome Ronan and the GlenAllachie team to Cupar on 7th March. Be sure to drop by their stand and enjoy these superb Speysiders!

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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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Mackmyra Fife Whisky Festival

Mackmyra


Published on: 8/01/20 by Justine

We’re always delighted to welcome new exhibitors to the annual Fife Whisky Festival and with the magnificent Mackmyra joining us in 2020, we’re equally as delighted to welcome a distillery based from much further afield.

Mackmyra has just marked its 20th anniversary having been founded in 1999. Soon afterwards, as business was clearly on the up, somebody at Mackmyra decided to build a new distillery in the same direction. Based just outside Gävle, a little over a hundred miles north of Stockholm, this Gravity Distillery was built in 2011 and stands 35 metres high. It makes use of – you guessed it – gravity in the whisky making process.

Mackmyra Fife Whisky Festival

At the helm of Mackmyra’s single malt releases is Master Blender, Angela D’Orazio. Having joined the team in 2004, she now has the best job title in the whisky industry: Chief Nose Officer. We’re sure she tastes everything as well. Otherwise the releases wouldn’t be as fantastic as they are!

Without some of the constraints which are currently in place for producers of Scotch whisky, Mackmyra (as a producer of Swedish single malt) has licence to experiment more with different cask types. They’ve recently released a number of expressions demonstrating their ability to constantly push their limits of creativity.

A couple of examples of this are Mackmyra Vinterglöd and Mackmyra Äppelblom. Vinterglöd means winter glow and the former is a bottling from casks which previously held Swedish mulled wine as well as Pedro Ximinez sherry. The latter, named after the Swedish for apple blossom, was finished in casks previously containing Calvados.

It’s not only cask types which have fuelled the creative juices at Mackmyra. Towards the end of last year, the folks released Intelligens AI; a single malt created by an artificial intelligence programme!

We’re really looking forward to welcoming the Mackmyra team to Cupar in March and can’t wait to see what they’ll be pouring on the day.

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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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Lady of the Glen Fife Whisky Festival

Lady of the Glen


Published on: 12/12/19 by Justine

It was a pleasure to welcome Lady of the Glen to the Fife Whisky Festival for the first time this year and we’re delighted that Gregor and the team will be returning to the Corn Exchange in Cupar for 2020’s event.

Lady of the Glen Fife Whisky Festival

An independent bottler releasing limited edition single cask whisky under the name Lady of the Glen, Gregor Hannah sources the very best casks from around Scotland. His whisky is bottled at cask strength, is non-chill filtered and, what’s more, each release is limited to 300 bottles or less. Now that really is limited!

Gregor personally tastes the whisky from each and every cask to ensure it’s of the high quality he’s looking for. It’s a difficult job but we guess someone has to do it. As Gregor is also currently studying for a Masters in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt, we’re not sure how he finds the time. Rest assured that we’ve kindly offered our services, completely free of charge, should Gregor need any help with the cask samples. We like to support our exhibitors in any way we can.

https://www.ladyoftheglen.com/store/product/miniature-sets

At the time of writing, the latest Lady of the Glen out-turn includes releases from Blair Athol, Caol Ila, Glenallachie and Strathmill. Bottles sell out very quickly – often within weeks – so we’ll have to wait and see what Gregor and the team will be pouring on 7th March. In the meantime, why not take a look at their website and check out their new miniature gift sets whilst you wait?

This year, the Lady of the Glen stand was a busy one and this independent bottler’s whisky went down a storm with Fife Whisky Festival goes. Make sure you drop by on 7th March and check out what’s being poured – you’ll be in for a treat!

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Kingsbarns Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

Kingsbarns Distillery


Published on: 4/12/19 by Justine

We’ll be welcoming back the team from Kingsbarns Distillery to 2020’s Fife Whisky Festival and it will, of course, be their third year in a row.

Kingsbarns Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

Local Fife distillery, Kingsbarns, officially opened on St Andrews Day in 2014. It was the following January when the spirit first came off the stills to begin its maturation journey to become Kingsbarns’ single malt whisky.

Members of the Founders Club were rewarded with the distillery’s inaugural bottling with the much acclaimed Dream To Dram – their first single malt available as a general release – appearing on the shelves in January this year.

With barley harvested from the fields in Fife, this is, indeed, a local dram (although not in a League of Gentlemen kind of way!). The bottle design represents the doocot (dovecot), which still stands in the distillery’s visitor centre, recalling the restored building’s history.

Kingsbarns Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

Two single cask, cask strength bottlings were released in April this year. The first, from cask #360, produced just 256 bottles and sold out within a matter of days! The second, only available from the distillery itself, was from cask #358. Both demonstrated what can be described as a typically Lowland, light and fruity style. The whisky is also naturally coloured and unchillfiltered.

These three releases from Peter, Kingsbarns’ distillery manager, show so much promise and we’re really looking forward to seeing how the whisky matures and develops.

A trip to Kingsbarns Distillery is a must for anyone visiting the Kingdom of Fife. As well as the visitor centre and distillery itself, the recently opened Darnley’s Distillery & Gin School – home of sister company, Darnley’s Gin – resides in a now restored farm cottage next to the whisky distillery. Together with the shop and cafe (where whisky flights are also available), you could easily spend the entire day there!

Kingsbarns Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

We’re delighted that the Kingsbarns team will be joining us in March for the next Fife Whisky Festival instalment. Head over to the stand and see what Peter, Hannah and the team will be pouring in 2020!

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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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