Fife Whisky Festival Blog

Our malty musings...

Angels' Nectar Fife Whisky Festival

Angels’ Nectar


Published on: 15/10/19 by Justine

Angels’ Nectar joined us for the first time this year and proved to be a real hit! So we’re delighted that Robert will be returning to Cupar in March next year to pour some more nectarous drams.

Angels' Nectar Fife Whisky Festival

Inspired by the angels’ share, Angels’ Nectar is a range of blended malts from Highfern, a company founded in 2014 by Robert Ransom who previously worked at Glenfarclas.

There are now three expressions in the range! The First Edition is a blend of carefully selected Highland and Speyside malts and The Rich Peat Edition is as the name suggests. However, with the latter, the whiskies are Highland single malts. As we’re talking Highland peat here, rather than the Islay kind, expect more smoke and lovely heather notes.

Angels' Nectar Fife Whisky Festival

If Islay peat is your thing then fear not. Highfern has just released a new expression – The Islay Edition. Bottled as a single malt and at a higher strength – 47% – this is a fitting successor to the Rich Peat Edition which has more or less sold out. It is also the first single malt release from Angels’ Nectar here in the UK.

All Angels’ Nectar releases are unchillfiltered and naturally coloured.

Both blended malts are extremely well balanced and, dare we say, extremely easy to drink! At the time of writing, we’ve yet to try the new Islay single malt but we’re certain that it’s just as tasty. We can’t wait to try it in March if not before!

Angels' Nectar Fife Whisky Festival

We really looking forward to welcoming back Angels’ Nectar to 2020’s Fife Whisky Festival. Be sure to head over to see Robert and the team and enjoy some of the whisky those pesky angels missed.

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Glenfiddich Fife Whisky Festival

Glenfiddich


Published on: 14/10/19 by Justine

Glenfiddich went down a (winter) storm at this year’s Fife Whisky Festival. So we’re delighted to announce that the team will return to Cupar in March for next year’s event!

Glenfiddich Fife Whisky Festival

Now, unless you’re from Mars and haven’t lived here on Earth for very long, we’d wager that, if there’s only one Scottish single malt whisky that you’ve heard of, it’s Glenfiddich.

That’s probably because Glenfiddich is the number one best selling single malt Scotch whisky in the world with sales of 1.22 million cases in 2017.

In times past, when everyone was drinking blended Scotch, Glenfiddich is an (if not the) example of how marketing raised awareness of single malt whisky to become a category in its own right.

Fife Whisky Festival

Initially marketed in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1960s, it was also marketed in Sweden by the second half of that decade. The rest of, what was then, Western Europe followed together with Canada and Australia.

By the late 1960s and early 1970s, demand for Glenfiddich whisky was extremely high and, as a result, 16 new stills were installed at the distillery.

Although the whisky was generally considered to be around the 8 to 10 years old mark, the 8 years age statement was removed in the 1970s for the non age statement label of Special (Old) Reserve. It wasn’t until 2000 that an age statement reappeared; this time it was 12 years and, with its triangular shaped bottle, it became one of the most recognised whiskies in the world.

More recently, Glenfiddich has rebranded its 12 years and 15 years single malts renaming them Our Original Twelve and Our Solera Fifteen respectively. Same great quality, different design!

Be sure to head over to the Glenfiddich stand to chat to Hazel and Mark who will be pouring a number of other expressions as well as the core range from this distillery‘s extensive portfolio.

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Daftmill Fife Whisky Festival

Daftmill Distillery


Published on: 12/10/19 by Justine

We’re delighted that Daftmill Distillery will be returning to the Corn Exchange in Cupar on 7th March to join us for the 2020 Fife Whisky Festival!

Fife Whisky Festival

For those of you who are unaware of the background to Daftmill, in 2003, two brothers – Francis and Ian Cuthbert – applied for planning permission to convert the old mill into a distillery and the first spirit came off the stills in December 2005. Last year saw the inaugural, summer and winter releases of the much anticipated single malt from this Fife distillery and very well received they were too!

Amongst other activities, Daftmill Farm grows malting barley and about one hundred tons is kept for the distillery’s own use. Details of the barley appear on the reverse of the bottles avoiding any confusion; this is a Fife whisky through and through!

Daftmill Fife Whisky Festival

Since Francis and Hazel poured some of Daftmill’s delights at 2019’s event, we’ve seen three single cask releases appear here in the UK. As well as a bottling from a first fill sherry butt for Berry Bros & Rudd, there have been two bottlings from bourbon casks; one by Royal Mile Whiskies and one, from a first fill bourbon barrel, released by FWF on site retailer and all round Fife whisky legends, Luvians.

Daftmill Fife Whisky Festival

As one of Scotland’s smallest distilleries, situated near Bow of Fife just outside Cupar, it is the closest distillery to our festival venue.

Daftmill Fife Whisky Festival

All of the single cask and small batch releases simply flew off the shelves. Obviously, given the current ‘health’ of the secondary market, some of these bottles have found their way on to the auction sites going for significantly increased prices. Certain whiskies have become a commodity lately which is perhaps a shame; especially as this fresh and fruity single malt is delicious and absolutely deserves to be savoured!

However, don’t just take our word for it. Be sure to head to the Daftmill stand and enjoy what’s on offer!

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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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Highland Boundary Fife Whisky Festival

Highland Boundary


Published on: 27/09/19 by Justine

We’re delighted to announce that Highland Boundary Scottish Spirit will be returning to Cupar in March for the 2020 Fife Whisky Festival.

Founded by Marian and Simon, this spirit is flavoured using only hand picked Scottish botanicals either found on their farm or nearby. The farm is situated near Alyth in Perthshire on the Highland Boundary Fault line; hence the name!

Highland Boundary Fife Whisky Festival

Highland Boundary’s first release is a Birch and Elderflower Wild Scottish Spirit and, if you haven’t already tried it, they assure us that you won’t have tasted anything like this before!

These botanicals are combined with grain spirit and spring water from the Alyth hills. The wild, botanical spirit is infused post-distillation to obtain the maximum flavours from the birch and elderflower.

The good folk at Highland Boundary have let us know that, by March next year, they’ll have some new spirits in their range. Here at Fife Whisky Festival HQ, even we don’t know what they have planned but we’re already looking forward to tasting their new releases.

At 2019’s event, this original Scottish spirit was really well received by FWF goers. We think it’s always good to try something new and give your palate a bit of a shake up. So, if you fancy tasting something different, be sure to head over to the Highland Boundary stand on 7th March and give this ‘malternative’ a go!

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Kilkerran Fife Whisky Festival

Kilkerran


Published on: 13/09/19 by Justine

The team from Kilkerran will be returning to Cupar for 2020’s Fife Whisky Festival and we’re already looking forward to finding out what they’ll be pouring.

Kilkerran Fife Whisky Festival

Glengyle Distillery is located in Campbeltown, just along the road from Springbank. In fact, J&A Mitchell, owners of Springbank distillery, bought the then derelict Glengyle in 2000 to ensure that Campbeltown had the requisite 3 distilleries to ensure it maintained its status as a whisky region.

Four years later, the distillery opened and the first release of Kilkerran arrived in 2007.

So, hang on a second. What’s this Kilkerran all about?

Well, someone else had already bought the rights to use Glengyle as a brand name so the new owners opted for a more than suitable alternative. According to their website, Kilkerran is derived from the Gaelic ‘Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain’ which is the name of the original settlement where Saint Kerran had his religious cell and where Campbeltown now stands.

With the subsequent release of the ‘work in progress’ range, Kilkerran has proved to be a big hit with whisky enthusiasts.

At 2019’s Fife Whisky Festival, in addition to the 8 years Cask Strength and the 12 years, the team brought along the Kilkerran Heavily Peated- a good three weeks before it was due to be released – which went down a treat with festival goers.

Kilkerran Fife Whisky Festival

We’re as excited as you are to see what the team will be bringing to Cupar in March 2020.

Be sure to drop by the Kilkerran stand and enjoy a couple of drams!

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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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Fife Whisky Festival Opening Dinner

Fife Whisky Festival Opening Dinner


Published on: 3/09/19 by Justine

Following the huge success of this year’s Fife Whisky Festival Opening Dinner, we’ve decided to organise another one in 2020!

Fife Whisky Festival Opening Dinner

On arrival at Lindores Abbey Distillery, you will be greeted with a delicious Aqua Vitae cocktail and have the opportunity to mingle with the other guests before taking your seat for the banquet style dinner in The Cloister.

Fife Whisky Festival Opening Dinner

Each of the three courses will be paired with some very special drams!

Fife Whisky Festival Opening Dinner

Brand ambassadors and distillers will join us for the dinner to introduce their wonderful whisky!

We’re delighted that one of Scotland’s best loved authors, Ian Rankin, will be our after dinner speaker.

Ian Rankin Fife Whisky Festival Opening Dinner

An evening of great whisky, great food, great company in a great venue!

The Fife Whisky Festival Opening Dinner is an event not to be missed!

 

Transport to and from Lindores Abbey Distillery is available from Cupar and St Andrews and is included in the ticket price.

Just check the box on the checkout form to reserve your place.

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*vegetarian options available

SPEY Fife Whisky Festival

SPEY


Published on: 30/08/19 by Justine

As the Fife Whisky Festival grows each year, we love welcoming back previous exhibitors and welcoming new ones in equal measure. Joining us for 2020’s event in Cupar in March will be the superb SPEY Whisky.

SPEY is from Speyside Distillery, just off the A9 at Kingussie with magnificent views of the Cairngorms. The whisky itself has an interesting history.

SPEY Fife Whisky Festival

The distillery founders, John and Robert Harvey began by founding Yoker Distillery in 1770, which was just outside Glasgow, and then later Dundashill and Bruichladdich distilleries. The company itself struggled with the aftermath of the Pattison Crash at the end of the 19th century and was acquired by Distillers Company Ltd a few years later.

DCL focused on Harvey’s blending and export interests but then along came Prohibition in the States. During this time, the company was led by Alec Harvey. He ingeniously used an abandoned stately home in the north east of England to store the whisky from the Scottish distillery before smuggling it across the water to New York and Chicago.

These days, such dodgy dealings are no more and Paul Dempsey can showcase the range of SPEY whisky wares openly and freely! We’re delighted that the SPEY team will be joining us for the first time at next year’s Fife Whisky Festival.

SPEY Fife Whisky FestivalThere’s plenty of choice – Royal, Chairman’s and Byron’s to be precise. As well as the Tenne, Trutina and Fumare, the range also includes an 18 year old age statement.

We’re really looking forward to welcoming Paul and the SPEY team to the Kingdom of Fife in March. Be sure to head over and taste the fantastic range on offer.

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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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