Fife Whisky Festival Blog

Our malty musings...

Edinburgh Whisky Academy Fife Whisky Festival

Edinburgh Whisky Academy


Published on: 25/02/20 by Justine

We’re delighted that our friends at Edinburgh Whisky Academy will be crossing the bridge into the kingdom on 7th March to join us for the third Fife Whisky Festival!

As much as you’ll enjoy tasting all the delicious drams on offer, here’s an opportunity to take a wee break and chat to the EWA team about the various courses they offer.

Edinburgh Whisky Academy Fife Whisky Festival

Whisky is much more than just a drink! The Edinburgh Whisky Academy is a centre for whisky education covering all aspects of Scotch whisky including its history and production as well as how to best appreciate it. In addition, it is the only centre of its kind which is accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKerrow, together with its team of experts the EWA has since launched its Diploma in Single Malt Whisky as well as a Diploma in the Art of Tasting Whisky.

Edinburgh Whisky Academy Fife Whisky Festival

The Edinburgh Whisky Academy is now growing from strength to strength with people travelling from all over to world to take its courses and leaving with a more in depth knowledge of the water of life!

Make sure to head over to the EWA stand and chat to the team over a dram or two about all the courses on offer.

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Cardrona Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

Cardrona Distillery


Published on: 10/02/20 by Justine

As well as celebrating whisky making in the Kingdom of Fife, here at Fife Whisky Festival HQ we like to celebrate whisky from all over Scotland and, indeed, further afield.

So we’re delighted to welcome Cardrona Distillery who’ll be joining us from, quite literally, the other side of the world.

Established in 2015, the distillery is situated in the Cardrona Valley in the southern alps of New Zealand. Founded by Desiree Whitaker, this family run distillery not only produces single malt whisky but also gin, single malt vodka and limited edition liqueurs.

Cardrona Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

Cardrona has five stills in total; two copper pot stills built by Forsyths in Speyside, a Jacob Carl continuous column still, a Jacob Carl finishing still and a 600 litre copper gin still.

For the first release of single malt whisky, “Just Hatched” is bottled at natural cask strength. A marriage of whisky from ex sherry casks and ex bourbon casks, this release marks the whisky’s coming of age at three years old.

Cardrona Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

As well as single malt whisky, Cardrona also produce gin and vodka.

The Source gin is made using traditional and local botanicals including rosehip and is made in both the copper pot stills and the column still.

Cardrona Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

The Reid is a single malt vodka made from malted barley, water and yeast, using the distillery’s copper column still.

We’re delighted to welcome Joseph and the Cardrona team to the Fife Whisky Festival for the first time. Be sure to drop by their stand, say hello and try out their range.

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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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Elixir Distillers Fife Whisky Festival

Elixir Distillers


Published on: 22/01/20 by Justine

Elixir Distillers will be joining us at the Fife Whisky Festival for the first time and we’re delighted to be able to welcome Julie and the team to Cupar on 7th March.

With brands such as Elements of Islay, Port Askaig and The Single Malts of Scotland, we’re sure there’ll be some real treats being poured on the day.

Elixir Distillers Fife Whisky Festival

With the first, Elements of Islay, the focus of these independently bottled whiskies is peat. With bottles which look like they’ve just come straight from the science lab, each one has its own periodic table style label which will give you an indication as to which distillery the whisky hails from. One thing which it doesn’t state is the whisky’s age. These whiskies are bottled purely based on flavour and, as such, don’t carry an age statement. Previous bottlings have been as young as five years old and as mature as thirty. One thing they do all have in common, though, is that they are non-chill filtered and naturally coloured.

Elixir Distillers Fife Whisky Festival

Port Askaig, based in the north of the island, is one of the ports you can arrive at when visiting Islay. The town itself doesn’t have a distillery; whisky for the Port Askaig range is sourced from undisclosed Islay distilleries. The range includes non-age statement bottlings (check out the cracking 100° Proof expression!) right up to a 45 year old release with each expression bottled in limited batches.

Elixir Distillers Fife Whisky Festival

Whisky has been bottled and released as The Single Malts of Scotland for 18 years yet it might have fallen under the radar of some Fife Whisky Festival goers. The range includes single cask as well as small batch bottlings and we strongly suggest that you check out what the team will have on offer on the day.

We’ve both been fans of Elixir Distillers for a while now so we’re over the moon that they’ll be joining us at 2020’s festival. We’re sure you’re going to enjoy them being there as well!

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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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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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