Fife Whisky Festival Blog

Our malty musings...

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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Tullibardine Fife Whisky Festival

Tullibardine


Published on: 16/08/19 by Justine

Here at FWF HQ, we’re always happy when exhibitors decide to return to our whisky festival. In addition, as the event grows year on year, we’re also equally as happy to welcome some new names, such as Tullibardine Distillery, to the Corn Exchange in Cupar.

Tullibardine was originally a brewery, dating from the 15th century and didn’t become a distillery until the late 1940s. More recently, the distillery was mothballed in the mid 1990s and, after being purchased and reopened by a new consortium in 2003, it subsequently passed into the hands of its current owners eight years later.

Tullibardine Fife Whisky Festival

New owner, Picard, has not only invested significantly in the infrastructure of its Perthshire distillery but has also rebranded the core range.

We’re looking forward to the Tullibardine team showcasing their signature malt, Sovereign, as well as some innovative cask finished whisky including the 225 Sauternes Cask Finish, the 228 Burgundy Cask Finish and the 500 Sherry Cask Finish.

Tullibardine Fife Whisky Festival

In addition, some of the current limited editions of the Marquess collection – The Murray – feature whisky partly matured in Sicilian Marsala wine casks and Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine barriques. The Murray is named after Sir William Murray who was the second marquess of Tullibardine and one of the leaders in the 1745 Jacobite uprising.

As well as their single malt range, Tullibardine is the new home of Highland Queen whisky. The new style blend now includes Tullibardine as one of its key components and is well worth trying if you haven’t done so already.

We’re sure you’ll give the Tullibardine team the warmest of welcomes to the Kingdom of Fife on 7th March 2020 – be sure to head to their stand to taste their delicious drams!

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Paul John Whisky Fife Whisky Festival

Paul John Whisky


Published on: 8/08/19 by Justine

At the time of writing, plans are well underway for the third Fife Whisky Festival and we’re delighted that Paul John Whisky has decided to join us to score their hat trick too!

Not only are we celebrating the revival of whisky making in Fife as well as revering the abundance of fantastic whiskies from all over Scotland, here at Fife Whisky Festival HQ we’re also big fans of Paul John: a whisky from much further afield.

Paul John Whisky Fife Whisky Festival

Paul John single malt whisky hails from Goa, India. Made from barley grown at the ‘foothills of the Himalayas’, and with both peated and unpeated expressions in the range, these single malts have won award after award and all have proven to be a big hit with Fife Whisky Festival goers.

In the Flagship range, the Brilliance, Edited and Bold expressions are bottled at 46% and are all unchillfiltered. The Select Cask range, however, includes higher strength bottlings with whisky chosen from specific casks creating more distinct flavour profiles.

Paul John Whisky Fife Whisky Festival

The distillery has also recently experimented with different cask finishes with one such experiment resulting in The Oloroso, bottled at 57.4%.

The climate in Goa, where the warehouses are situated, causes the whisky to mature differently to that in Scotland for example. The higher temperatures not only ‘accelerate’ the maturation process but also increase the rate of evaporation. The angels’ share in Scotland is often quoted as being around 2% per year; in India it’s thought to be as high as 10%. And we thought we had happy angels here!

We’re delighted that The Great Indian Single Malt is returning to 2020’s Fife Whisky Festival with either Shilton or Craig (or maybe even both – what a fantastic double act that would be!) guiding you through the superb Paul John range.

Holyrood Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

Holyrood Distillery


Published on: 31/07/19 by Justine

As of yesterday (that’s 30th July 2019), with the opening of Holyrood Distillery, single malt whisky distilling has returned to Scotland’s capital!

Holyrood Distillery Fife Whisky Festival

The last single malt distillery in Edinburgh was previously known as Glen Sciennes before Andrew and John Usher bought it. They renamed it (funnily enough) Edinburgh Distillery but it was closed in 1925 by its then current owners, Scottish Malt Distillers. When SMD put the distillery’s buildings up for sale in 1926, it was on condition that it would no longer be used as a distillery. The bonded warehouses were situated near the railway line at St Leonard’s; just a hop, skip and a jump from the former goods shed which now houses Holyrood Distillery.

Holyrood Distillery History

For now, though, let’s head back to the future.

Founded by Kelly and Rob Carpenter, who also established the Canadian branch of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, and David Robertson, founder of Rare Whisky 101, the ethos that “flavour matters” will be brought to life by head distiller Jack Mayo and his team.

Although we’ll need to wait at least three years before Holyrood Distillery is able to release its very own single malt, in the meantime we can look forward to an exciting journey. As well as a range of gin on offer, which will be made using ‘Ginnie Deans’ – the bespoke still designed by Jack himself – Holyrood has also recently released a range of gin liqueurs.

Holyrood Distillery Fife Whisky Festival
Karen and Ginnie!

We’re obviously delighted that Holyrood Distillery will be joining us in March 2020 for our next Fife Whisky Festival. With a wee while to go before we open the doors to the Corn Exchange in Cupar for a third time, we’re looking forward to following the team’s progress and are as excited as you to find out which tasty treats they’ll be pouring on the day!

In the meantime, head over the bridge and pay them a visit!

Holyrood Exhibitors Fife Whisky Festival

 

Ben Nevis Whisky

Ben Nevis


Published on: 31/01/19 by Justine

Ben Nevis went down a storm at last year’s Fife Whisky Festival! So we’re delighted that the team has chosen to return to Cupar and, this time, they’ll be bringing a very special release with them.

Ben Nevis Whisky

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

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 Whisky

The Japanese distilling giant, Nikka, now 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.

Be sure to head over to the Ben Nevis stand on 9th March and say hi to the team!

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Angels Nectar

Angels’ Nectar


Published on: 28/01/19 by Justine

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

Angels Nectar

There are currently two expressions in the range; The First Edition is a blend of carefully selected Highland and Speyside malts and The Peat Edition is as the name suggests. However, with the latter, the whiskies are Highland single malts. So we’re talking Highland peat here rather than the Islay kind; expect more smoke and lovely heather notes rather than the TCP/antiseptic qualities which have become so closely associated with peated whisky.

Angels Nectar PeatedBoth blended malts are extremely well balanced and, dare we say, extremely easy to drink!

Angels’ Nectar will be joining us for the first time at 2019’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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Dalmore

Whyte and Mackay


Published on: 28/01/19 by Justine

We’re delighted that Whyte and Mackay will be showcasing their whisky wares at this year’s Fife Whisky Festival. And what a showcase it’s shaping up to be!

Whyte and Mackay

Pouring single malts from Dalmore, Jura, Fettercairn and Tamnavulin distilleries, Scott and the team will also be pouring their famous Whyte and Mackay, Shackleton and The Woodsman blends.

When James Whyte and Charles Mackay set up in partnership in 1882, it was shortly afterwards that they released their own blended whisky under their names: Whyte and Mackay Special. Initially a big seller in export markets, after the Second World War efforts focused on the UK market and Whyte & Mackay became, and remains, a household name.

In August last year, the decision was made to relaunch Fettercairn. The new range of single malts from this Highland distillery carry 12, 28, 40 and 50 year age statements.

fettercairnJust a few months earlier, the company replaced its then current range of Jura single malts with five new expressions; the non-age statement bottlings of Journey and Seven Wood as well as three age statements (10, 12 and 18 years).

Jura whisky

We think Scott and the team are going to be pretty busy on 9th March. Make sure you drop by their stand; you’ll have plenty to choose from!

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Daftmill

Daftmill


Published on: 24/01/19 by Justine

At last, at last; Daftmill has arrived and we’re delighted that the Daftmill team will be joining us for the 2019 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.

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 and summer releases of the much anticipated single malt from this Fife distillery and very well received they were too!

Daftmill(Photo courtesy of Jason Julier)

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!

This fresh and fruity 12 year old single malt is delicious. However, don’t just take our word for it; head over to the Daftmill stand on 9th March and discover their whisky yourself.

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Morrison and Mackay

Morrison and MacKay


Published on: 22/01/19 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 great and we’ve been fans of the Càrn Mòr range since.

Therefore, we were delighted when Morrison and Mackay joined us for the inaugural Fife Whisky Festival last year and we’re over the moon that they’re coming back in 2019!

Morrison and Mackay are independent bottlers of single malt whisky and have also brought the Old Perth blend back to life after an absence of nearly 30 years. They also 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.

Make sure you head over to the Morrison and MacKay stand on 9th March. As well as pouring samples of some great whisky, they may also tell you all about their new distillery, just across the border, in Aberargie…

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Fraiser Scotch Whisky Liqueur

Fraiser Whisky Liqueur


Published on: 22/01/19 by Justine

Undertaking some research here at Fife Whisky Festival HQ, we started to become a little worried about Fraiser Whisky Liqueur. You see, we discovered that soon after they launched this strawberry whisky liqueur, it became the top selling brand at the Glasgow Whisky Festival, the Whisky Stramash, Drambusters and Ooshka. That success continued at Whisky Live London and the Stirling Whisky Festival, the following year, as well as at the National Whisky Festival in Glasgow. So we were concerned as to whether they would have enough for the good people of Fife. There was no need to panic; there was plenty to go around for last year’s Fife Whisky Festival goers!

Fraiser Scotch Whisky Liqueur

Created by the former Head Blender for Glenmorangie, John Smith, Fraiser launched this whisky liqueur infused with wild strawberries in 2015. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength.

Fraiser Scotch Whisky Liqueur

We’re delighted that the team from Fraiser is returning to the 2019 Fife Whisky Festival. Make sure you head over to their stand on 9th March and try this innovative whisky liqueur. If you like it, and we’re sure you will, our advice would be to purchase your bottle straight away; they have a tendency to sell out, you know!

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