Fife Whisky Festival Blog

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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 Balblair, 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

Balblair distillery, featured in the film The Angels’ Share, produces a Highland single malt. From 2007 onwards, its releases came in the form of ‘vintages’.  However, the distillery has now moved in favour of age statements with four expressions (12 years, 15 years, 18 years and 25 years in the portfolio) all bottled at 46%.  With a fantastic range of both sherry and bourbon cask matured whisky, you’ll be sure to find something to please your taste buds!

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!

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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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Ben Nevis Fife Whisky Festival

Ben Nevis


Published on: 22/11/19 by Justine

Ben Nevis went down a storm at our previous Fife Whisky Festival events and we’re delighted to let you know that the team will be returning to the Kingdom for the third year in a row!

Ben Nevis Fife Whisky Festival

Ben Nevis Distillery was established in 1825 in Fort William. It is one of the oldest (licensed) distilleries in Scotland and is uniquely situated at the foot of Scotland’s / Britain’s highest mountain.

You may have heard of the blended whisky Long John which was extremely popular during the 70s and 80s here in Scotland.  The whisky was named after the distillery’s founder; John Macdonald, otherwise known as Long John Macdonald due to his tall stature!

For a number of years, the distillery was owned by Joseph Hobbs who also owned Lochside distillery. Both distilleries shared one characteristic; they both produced not only malt, but also grain, whisky in the same building.

Ben Nevis Fife Whisky Festival

Nowadays, the Japanese distilling giant, Nikka, owns Ben Nevis distillery and approximately half of all its new make spirit is sent to them to use in their Nikka blends.

However, the distillery produces some superb spirit to be matured here in Scotland culminating in some wonderful whisky ! As well as some very fine single malts, the range includes the Nevis Dew blends and McDonald’s Glencoe blended malt.

Ben Nevis Fife Whisky Festival

For 2019’s Fife Whisky Festival, the Ben Nevis team brought a very special release with them; MacDonald’s Ben Nevis 10 years Batch no. 1. This was the first outing for this limited edition single malt which was bottled at a whopping 62.4%.

We’re looking forward to welcoming back the Ben Nevis team and their fantastic range of whisky. Be sure to head over to their stand on 7th March to say hi and enjoy a dram or two!

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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. 

 

Wemyss Malts Fife Whisky Festival

Wemyss Malts


Published on: 6/11/19 by Justine

From the outset, when the idea of a whisky festival in Fife was just a glint in our eyes, the team at Wemyss Malts was one of our greatest advocates. So we’re always delighted to know that Jacqueline and her fabulous team will be joining us each year and 2020 is no exception.

Wemyss Malts Fife Whisky Festival

Wemyys Malts are family whisky makers and the Wemyss name heralds from the ancient Kingdom of Fife. This independent bottler is well known for its carefully chosen casks which form the basis for either their acclaimed single cask bottlings or their award winning blended malts.

The company was founded in 2005 by William Wemyss who uses his background in wine making to blend the single malt whiskies expertly sought by his sister, Isabella.

The Wemyss range of single cask expressions can consist of between 100 to 700 bottles each. Therefore, these limited edition whiskies are highly sought after and often difficult to find!

Wemyss’ blended malts include their Core Range – The Hive, Spice King and Peat Chimney – which are also bottled as Batch Strength editions; The Family Collection and the independent bottler’s Limited Editions.

Wemyss Malts Fife Whisky Festival

All the whiskies in the Wemyss range are non chill-filtered and have proved to be incredibly popular with previous Fife Whisky Festival goers.

Wemyss Malts also owns Fife’s Kingsbarns Distillery, situated about eight miles from St Andrews. Kingsbarns opened in 2014 with the first cask filled with spirit in March the following year and the first general release single malt – Dream To Dram – released in early 2019. You can read more about the distillery itself in a separate blog post.

Wemyss Malts Fife Whisky Festival

Be sure to say hello to the Wemyss and Kingsbarns teams – they’ll be right next to each other! – on 7th March and enjoy a taste of the fantastic selection of whisky they’ll be pouring!

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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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James Eadie Fife Whisky Festival

James Eadie


Published on: 28/10/19 by Justine

James Eadie will be returning to the Fife Whisky Festival! Well, not the man himself. That would really be something else seeing as though he died in the early 1900s. However, his whisky legacy lives on in the form of the independent bottler of the same name, having been revived by James Eadie’s great-great grandson, Rupert Patrick.

Leon and Hugh from James Eadie have joined us at our previous festivals and their single cask bottlings have gone down a treat with festival goers. Last year, the cask strength Benrinnes 13 years, finished in a Madeira cask, proved popular. And, without wishing to sound biased here, the 21 years single grain from Fife’s own Cameronbridge was a cracking dram!

James Eadie Fife Whisky Festival

With most of the range being either single cask or small batch releases, there’ll undoubtedly be some changes and new additions to the James Eadie stand come March 2020.

James Eadie Fife Whisky Festival

As well as a superb lineup of single malt and single grain whiskies, Trademark X – James Eadie’s blended whisky – also went down a storm. 

Having tracked down the old ledgers, and tasted a sample from one of the last remaining bottles from the 1940s, Rupert Patrick set out to recreate the old Trademark X blend. The result is a lovely, well-balanced, peaty blended Scotch whisky bottled at 45.6%.

James Eadie Fife Whisky Festival

We’re really looking forward to welcoming back the James Eadie team to the Corn Exchange in Cupar and are delighted they’ve decided to make it a Fife Whisky Festival hat-trick!

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SMWS Fife Whisky Festival

Scotch Malt Whisky Society


Published on: 27/10/19 by Justine

The world famous Scotch Malt Whisky Society joined us for the first time for 2019’s Fife Whisky Festival  and we’re delighted to let you know that the SMWS team will be returning to Cupar for 2020’s event.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Fife Whisky Festival

Founded in 1983 at The Vaults in Leith by Phillip Hills and a group of fellow single malt enthusiasts, the SMWS started out bottling single cask Scotch whisky for their own enjoyment.

This was a bold move at the time. For the most part, very little whisky was bottled as single malts (let alone cask strength!) up to this point as the market was mostly focused on blended whisky. Moreover, there was also a downturn in the demand for Scotch whisky at this time and, in order to cut costs, production needed to be reduced and, in the case of some distilleries, stopped altogether. Despite all this, the SMWS grew and grew and the rest, as they say, is history.

Without naming any of the distilleries on the bottles, this independent bottler encourages you to choose whisky based on their detailed (and wonderfully flamboyant) tasting notes. Rest assured that, on the day, Andrew Park (SMWS’ Brand Ambassador) and the rest of the team will be there to point you in the right direction and lend a helping hand should you need it!

SMWS Fife Whisky Festival

As well as joining us for the main event, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society will be hosting an exclusive masterclass during Session 2. This tutored tasting is limited to just 12 places and, at the time of writing, this masterclass has already sold out. However, please drop us a line if you’d like to be added to the waiting list.

We’re looking forward to seeing the tasty treats on offer! Be sure to head over to the SMWS stand on 7th March and enjoy a few drams with Andrew and the team!

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Adelphi Fife Whisky Festival

Adelphi


Published on: 26/10/19 by Justine

The team from Adelphi has decided to make it a hat trick and we’re absolutely delighted that they’ll be returning to Cupar in March 2020!

Adelphi Fife Whisky Festival

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, non-chill filtered and absolutely delicious.

Focusing primarily on flavour, Alex Bruce and the Adelphi team only accept around 4% of the casks they are offered. Only once these special casks are identified and selected, bottling of these single cask, limited edition whiskies can take place.

Adelphi Fife Whisky Festival

As for the Adelphi team, well, they’re a busy bunch of people. As well as their single cask offerings, Adelphi has collaborated with Fusion Whisky to create whiskies fused from Scotch and single malt whisky sourced from distilleries around the world. As well as creating The Glover in 2015 – a fusion of Scotch and Japanese malt whiskies – we’ve also seen subsequent releases including The E & K (Scotch and Indian whiskies) and Winter Queen (Scotch and Dutch whiskies).

Earlier in 2014, the company also opened their very own distillery; Ardnamurchan. Situated on the (you guessed it) Ardnamurchan peninsula near Glenbeg, the Ardnamurchan spirit has already garnered much praise from the whisky community. This year, the distillery won the Community Contribution of the Year at the inaugural Scottish Whisky Awards and, Operations Director, Gordon Hamilton, recently saw his hard work in the Scotch whisky industry recognised and rewarded by being inaugurated as a Keeper of the Quaich in October.

Adelphi Fife Whisky Festival

We’re absolutely delighted that the team(s) behind Adelphi, Ardnamurchan and Fusion Whisky will be returning to the 2020 Fife Whisky Festival on 7th March. Be sure to pay them a visit on the day – they’ll have plenty of great whisky for you to choose from!

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