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Old 4th October 2013
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A wee dram from holiday

What better way to relax in the evening than with a wee dram to remind you of your holidays. Even better when its one you bottled yourself at a distilliary.

Here is the machine:



You fill the bottle, cork it, and put a foil seal over the top. Without doubt it is a single cask bottling at cask strength.
Finally you fill in the label and sign the excise book. The book is open to the tax inspectors so they know who bottled it.

Here is the result along with tasting glass to make sure you enjoy it at its maximum potential.



Not all distilliaries are open to the public though. Lock Lomond distilliary is not but we managed to find two "expressions" at the village shop in Balmaha - "Loch Lomond" and "Inchmurrin" (the latter and others we didn't see are named after islands in the loch).

A small shop at Drymen (the "gateway to East Lomond") has a good selection in a room at the back and also holds an occassional tasting.



There are other outlets in the area keen to sell you the "water of life" as well. I recommend the "Antartex Shopping Centre" (southern end of the loch) and the "Green Welly Stop" shop (top left of the loch). I managed to browse in here for over an hour before deciding what to buy.

I must be easily persuaded as from a few shops and a few distilliary visits this is what I came home with:



The two books are good reads and "101 Whiskies to Try" recommends all the versions Highland Park which I know finds favour amongst the forum members. I must revisit this whisky at a future time to see why.

Whilst taking the picture above the management suggested taking shots of the other contents of the cellar. First the Islay malts (some from the recent holiday hiding on the left side at the back).



Now the Islands. Not sure how the Tullibardine crept in here - that was from holiday 2 years ago. The management favours Jura.



Finally the remainder. The Springbank is from a visit over ten years ago - I have drunk one bottle and this is the second. The Penderyn is the only welsh whisky I know of, but is available in supermarkets both sides of the border.

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Old 4th October 2013
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

Och mon! ! ! It's a Gra-a-and sight

What a fabulous collection of whiskies, I can almost smell the aroma.

Thanks for making me reach for my own wee drop of scotch at this rather late hour, OM.
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Old 4th October 2013
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

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Och mon! ! ! It's a Gra-a-and sight

Thanks for making me reach for my own wee drop of scotch at this rather late hour, OM.
I bet its not a "wee" drop either.
And this is the person who casts nastursiums (sic) at my tippling!

Lovely set - makes me almost wish I enjoyed a dram, which I'm afraid I have never done.
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Old 4th October 2013
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

I'm a whisky collector, and full time whisky geek. There is just a couple of distilleries left whose produce i haven't tasted. BTW, i'd gladly chew your arm off for that St Mag 23 and the 'beggie '78.


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Old 4th October 2013
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

I'm envious . I love a good single malt myself too, it's just a pity they're so expensive nowadays. I bet that Glengoyne is worth the money though! Now I'm salivating over your collection I might just have to go and order a couple of bottles of Ardbeg Uigeadail in time for the festive season .
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Old 4th October 2013
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

Ah - I remember that distillery shop well!

Here's what came out of it...
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Old 4th October 2013
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

You seem to have missed off the two finest (IMHO) : Highland Park and Old Poultney.

About 5 years ago, my wife & I were living in the far north and took my son (25 at the time) over to Orkney "to see the sights", when he came up for a visit. This was in March IIRC.

We went into the Highland park shop - the chap in there said we were his first visitors for 5 weeks.
Whilst we waited for them to organise someone to give us a tour, I asked the chap if 25year old was really worth triple the price of my usual 12 year old.
Anyway we had the tour.
When we got back to the shop the same man said normally we give you a free taster here, but look, I've lined up a 30 year old, a 25 year old and your usual 12 year - taste them and tell me what you think.
I reckon me and the lad must have consumed about 100 quids worth of free samples that afternoon. Luckily the wife was driving
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

My grandad used to be the Excise man for Old Pulteney. I agree it's good stuff. And I did order the Ardbeg .
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

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Originally Posted by OM USer View Post
Even better when its one you bottled yourself at a distilliary.
OM User, the Aberlour distillery offer fill-your-own and are well regarded. Usually they have two to pick from, a sherry cask matured and a bourbon cask matured. One of each would be a good way to sample the differences between the two traditional types of cask.


This is my current line up of opened bottles. The Willet Rye Single Barrel on the left will be opened later, and i haven't yet had the courage to open the Karuizawa Noh (the label with the mask) on the back-right (soon maybe).




There are a couple of oddballs there. The Teerenpeli is an 8yo Single Malt from Finland, one of the few mainland Europe distilleries i would recommend as any good. The Nikka Pure Malt White (front centre) is a vatting of Islay (Caol Ila distillery probably) and Nikka malt (most likely Yoichi distillery) and is quite delicious.
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

Mark, hope you enjoy your wee dram - whatever the hour.

Lyn, perhaps we can tempt you?

Pete, only a couple of distilliaries left? You have been busy. That is a nice collection you have - I don't recall trying anything from Europe or Japan so that is something to look foreward to.

Otto, you will enjoy your Ardbeg. When they started re-shipping about 12 (?) years ago the price was quite reasonable but they have now limited the supply and the price has risen. I do enjoy the "10" of which I have one bottle left.

Corned - a nice looking bottle you have (because it has been opened!)

Homer - I've not been to the Orkneys yet. I have tried both Highland Park and Old Poultney in the past. The only Highland Park I have at the moment is a miniature.
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

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Originally Posted by Otto View Post
My grandad used to be the Excise man for Old Pulteney. I agree it's good stuff. And I did order the Ardbeg .
I noticed your comment elsewhere, was he a native "Durdy Weeker" (person born in Wick)
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

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Originally Posted by Floribunda View Post
I bet its not a "wee" drop either.
And this is the person who casts nastursiums (sic) at my tippling!
Woops ... Hoist on his own petard !
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Old 5th October 2013
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

Homer - no, he was from the East Riding of Yorkshire, but he was posted to Wick for a couple of years in the 1920s. My father credited his two years at Wick High School with turning him from a layabout into a useful member of society .

OM - It's not so much that they limit the supply of Ardbeg, it's a small distillery and the whisky has got very popular, but the price probably has more to do with it being owned by Louis Vuitton Mot Hennessy and therefore having a "premium brand" status. However, I saved 10 a bottle buying it from Master of Malt rather than direct from Ardbeg. You're quite right that I will enjoy it - it's my favourite . I shall have to figure out how to post pics on this site as I have a few from my tour of the distillery with an E-300 .
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

That's a table full of headaches!
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Old 5th October 2013
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Re: A wee dram from holiday

Being a Scot, it is probably unusual that in my 60 years, until New Year this year I had never tasted whisky. I was given a bottle of Strathmill as a present and it seemed a pity to let it go to waste. I really enjoyed it and since then I've been trying different malts to experience the range of flavours. What surprised me was that, although with wine I had found it difficult to differentiate the flavours, it seems a lot easier with whisky. Even a novice like me can pick out different nuances. Having said that some of the tasting notes I've read are completely over the top. One I read recently said the whisky had hints of fermented shark!

I know this might be sacrilege to malt whisky experts but an 8 year old blend from Aldi has recently won three gold medals in competitions. The one to go for is Highland Black. I bought some recently for 12.99 and it is absolutely lovely. At that price it's surely worth a try.
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