Bruce Crichton's Report on Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2023

These are the words of Bruce Crichton and the views expressed are his own.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Spring 2023
Report by Bruce Crichton

Having flown in from New Zealand in an aircraft powered by the self-importance of Jim Murray, I headed to Dufftown. Not tired at all from my ten-minute flight, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky festival was just what I needed and after several days of great whisky, food and quizzes, here is my account of it.

The reader should always remember that, if I had the memory of Robocop, I’d be an indestructible robot policeman in Detroit so this is not a definitive guide and may contain factual errors, for which I apologise in advance. Given the festival and tasting format, a number of the whiskies will have sold out long before the reader receives this report so notes will be short and accompanied by an explanation. Tasting notes are subjective and comment is added from experts present during note taking. Previously, to shorten the report, I would refer the reader to previous reports and tastings when a whisky re-appears but this is my first report in years. I do assume the reader is familiar with widely available bottlings mentioned. Any cask samples tasted are described briefly, since these are not available for the reader to buy. Finally, any water added was, literally, one drop and whiskies were 40% abv, if the strength is not otherwise indicated.

Craigellachie Distillery tour

Arriving at the distillery on Thursday, I took my first ever tour of Craigellachie, owned by John Dewar and Sons, providing whisky for the popular blended Scotch series. Craigellachie was only open for four days this year, more than previous years and the distillery was only open for visitors during the festival. Occasionally, sister distillery Aultmore, located near Keith, is also open.
Taking the group round was Matthew Cordiner, International Brand Ambassador, along with Garry ‘Grain Man’ Ross, Distilleries Ambassador and UK Malt Whisky Ambassador. Craigellachie was built in 1891 by Peter Mackie of the White Horse blended Scotch fame and Alexander Edwards, also builder of the Craigellachie hotel. Edwards had inherited the nearby Benrinnes distillery and had also built Aultmore in 1897, He had a lease on Oban distillery and built the sister distilleries of Benromach and Dallas Dhu in nearby Forres. Mackie was a traditional ‘hard-nosed; businessman with Edwards being a very quiet man.

Craigellachie single malt was launched as a brand in 2014, though the majority of distillery output goes for blending, particular Dewar’s. Craigellachie has been expanded since first built and a nineteenth century review by writer Alfred Barnard in 1893 described it has had an ‘old school style’, finding that the spirit had a pineapple note to it.

The distillery water source is the nearby ‘blue hill’ and malting ceased being done on-site in 1968 and is now done by the Glenesk company in Montrose. Seven loads of malt are used per day and ground up using the obligatory ‘Porteus’ mill. ‘Laureate’ barley is currently in use, succeeding the previous ‘Diablo’ malt. 10.15 tons are used per mash in the ‘Steinecker’ machine, from Germany, that has reduced mash time by a third. Fermentation takes an average of 56 hours, relatively short, and this results in Sulphur remaining in the spirit, with fruity notes only occurring in spirit as a result of Sulphur being removed from the process.

The four stills are specifically designed to not give too much contact with the copper and the new-make has cereal notes. Craigellachie is one about twenty distilleries in Scotland to use wormtub condensers, giving the spirit a thicker, heavier character. Distillery capacity is 4 million litres per annum. Distillery warehousing was ceased in 1995 with all whisky being matured in Glasgow. Dewar’s also do reciprocal spirit deals with their rivals and Matthew hopes the previous 19- and 23-year-old bottlings will be brought back.

To end, we tasted the current 13-year-old release, bottled at 46%. I recall brand ambassador Georgie Bell presenting a sold-out tasting of Craigellachie and Aultmore in Dufftown, noting that stocks of whisky were not laid down, 12 or 13 years previously, with the aim of bottling a single malt. When the brands were launched, the blender used what was available. Since then, the current bottling has more whisky specifically laid down for bottling as single malt. I found notes of pineapple and fruit salad chewy sweets. Adding a single drop of water made it malty. An awesome description of the whisky is “like firing a shotgun through a pineapple’ and I heartily recommend this to previous fans and to new ones, who will find a considerably changed whisky from past years.

The 17-year-old, also at 46%, had changed from being previously identical to the 13-year-old to having stewed fruits and rhubarb crumble on the nose with toffee on the taste. The distillery exclusive festival bottling, available only from the distillery from Thursday to Sunday before being released on the Aberfeldy distillery website on Monday, where it will have sold out in moments was an 18-year-old single cask bottling, at 54.9%. This whisky had an awesome bead test, a measure of liquid viscosity. It had been previously matured for 15.5 years in a refill bourbon cask before 2.5 years maturation in St Emilion Bordeaux red wine. I found crème caramel on the nose while the official notes find cocoa balance with pineapple, blackcurrant and zesty orange peel.

Bottles such as these are the reason to visit distilleries during the festival, offering extraordinary quality combine with rarity value and I cannot recommend these tours highly enough to the reader.

Mates of the Museum

The evening brought together old friends and new over a few civilized drams, a tremendously rubbery one and some fine food We also paid tribute to those who had left us and I was sad to hear of the passing of Newcastle’s Bill Sharp, a longstanding visitor to Speyside and a good friend. Thanks to Steve for putting this together.

Berry Brothers and Rudd

Presenting a series of whiskies at cask strength, for Berry Brothers and Rudd (BBR) was American newcomer Christina McDiarmid, filling in for Jonny MacMillan who had mysteriously disappeared while exploring Iceland, along with all his Zulu guides. Also, the absence of Boisterous Aberdonian, Jonny’s regular sparring partner and comedy foil turned out to be permanent after he was confirmed to have accidentally farted himself inside out.

Skipping Jonny’s usual history of the company, Christina noted that BBR has furniture older than her country but not, when I asked, older than Jonny’s jokes: my apologies for this impossibility…….

2010 Auchentoshan, 1 of 220 bottles at 57.5% had a creamy nose and I recommend it to those who miss the ‘Valinch’ bottlings of a decade ago and wonder what it would taste like if grown up. The taste was floral and had notes of pear drop sweets. Christina said they were aiming for ‘spirit character’ with this.

Exclusive to the Whisky Shop Dufftown (WSD) was a 2008 Glen Elgin, Christina’s first bottling, at 53.4%. There was vanilla on the nose and a very thick taste of vanilla with very good body. Christina finds toffee apple on this while I found apple crumble on the very long finish.

A 2011 Glencadam, at 59.7%, was finished in Muscat, a Loire Valley sweet white wine. I found raspberry ripple on the nose, along with peach syrup and caramel, with fruit salad chew bars again on the taste.

As we tasted 2011 Glen Garioch, at 58.4%, Christina told us that she doesn’t use her laptop very much when presenting, a refreshing change from the frequent bombardment of Dingo’s Kidneys that accompanies a tasting presented by Jonny. This had been finished for 2 years in an Oloroso sherry cask, giving it a musty quality, along with toffee sauce on the nose. I found it chewy, like what used to be called ‘Coo Toffee’ or McCowan’s toffee, a Scottish sweet that had to prised off your teeth by the World’s Strongest Man, using a crowbar. (Apparently, before the invention of crowbars, crows used to drink alone). The finish had Bovril, treacle and syrup.

A 2010 Benriach, at 60.7%, had spent two years maturing in Pedro Ximenez (PX) sherry. There was toffee and butterscotch on the nose while water made it malty while revealing smoke and peat. It seems to be a real rarity to find an independent bottling of peated Benriach and there was a tremendous amount of peat on the finish. Christina recommends PX with vanilla ice cream, a recommendation I second or I thirty-fourth if I’m feeling peckish….

A 2012 Ardmore, a distillery Christina particularly loves, was 1 of 661 bottles at 59.6%. This was from a refill sherry butt with the sherry being quite light and I found toffee with subtle smoke on the nose, followed by sweet smoked ham and a very long finish with subtle smoke again.

Fanatical About Flavour with Douglas Laing and Dougal Barr
Newcomer Dougal began by stating that his company doesn’t do ‘masterclasses’, they do tasting classes. After all, he reasons, who wants to talk about whisky for 90 minutes when you can drink for 90 minutes?

From their Old Particular range, bottled at a standard 48.4% under 18 years of age, a 12-year-old Linkwood was what Dougal considered either a breakfast or early evening whisky, being matured in a refill hogshead. Official notes describe it as a light, orchard, delicately spiced whisky. I found it fruity and malty while water revealed lemon curds notes with pear drops on the very long finish.

In past years, the company used 40-year-old Port Ellen and Macallan malt whiskies in blends, indeed they had more Port Ellen than owners Diageo. Dougal talked at length about the company’s ‘Big Peat’ blended malt Scotch, the first in their series of regional blended malts, first launched in 2009. It currently represents twenty-five percent of Douglas Laing’s business with the series representing fifty percent. The company buys spirit and matures it, rather than buying casks.

Scallywag 10-year-old Speyside blended malt, at 46%, contains Macallan, Mortlach and Glenrothes, However, despite this, the company wasn’t trying to create a whisky to compete with Macallan or Mortlach. Dougal finds this a good intro to sherry cask whisky. It was rich and fruity on the nose with hints of orange, followed by the taste of orange, with notes of leather then a dry finish, accompanied by marmalade on toast. As an aside, the Laing family has always had wire fox terriers and the original Scallywag dog had a missing tooth, as does the one on the packaging.

An extremely moreish Old Particular 15-year-old bourbon cask Glenrothes, had Marzipan, fudge and vanilla tablet on the nose and apple crumble on the taste. 2014 Midnight Series Benrinnes at 57.2%, taken from a first fill Oloroso cask, smelled of fruit salad chew bars and peaches, tasting of orange Chewits, followed by a long, mellow finish.

Depending on the component parts of a blended malt, Douglas Laing are sometimes not allowed to name the whiskies used so they can name Auchentoshan and Glenkinchie as parts of their ‘Epicurean’ series but not the Ayrshire whisky they use.

Construction on Douglas Laing’s upcoming ‘Clutha’ distillery will begin in 2023, beside the warehouse for Big Peat, with its large, striking logo, right beside the M8 Motorway on the way to the airport. Clutha will not be a traditional lowland Scotch; it will be big and robust.

Purchased in 2019, after being opened in 2013, the Strathearn distillery in Perthshire will be bottled soon. A boutique distillery, its capacity was doubled by Douglas Laing to 50000 litres and the bottled spirit will be a big, robust highland malt. Already, the ‘Timorous Beastie’ highland malt contains Strathearn whisky.

An Old Particular Ardmore 10-year-old, had been matured in a cask that had previously held Laphroaig. There was some familiar sweet vanilla on the nose, accompanied by smoked ham. It was surprisingly soft on the taste. Provenance Caol Ila 8-year-old, at a standard 46%, was described by Dougal as ‘young, vibrant and fruity’. I found minty toffee on the nose with medium smoke and peat on the taste.

Saturday Morning Whisky Fair

Saturday morning reminded me that, in an enclosed space, the backpack is the work of Satan and Baldrick, turning either the most petite woman or slightly built man into Giant Haystacks (the Loch Ness Monster, if the reader watched either WCW or Stampede wrestling).
Highlights of the fair include: 8-year-old Blair Athol, at 58.6%, from bottlers Lady of the Glen was aptly described by the company’s Paul McKendrick as a ‘bourbon bomb’. From the same company, a 13-year-old MacDuff, at 57.6%, was down to the last three bottles. It was very similar to a Berry Brothers bottling from the same distillery that was New York Cheesecake in a bottle.

Also tasting of New York Cheesecake was 12-year-old Dream Drams MacDuff, at 55.3%. No home should be without their 10-year-old Glen Moray either, matured in a refill bourbon cask and bottled at 57.8%.

Tomintoul Cognac finish was light and fruity while the 17-year-old PX finish tasted of apple crumble.

From Duncan Taylor, their Black Bull Kyloe was ideal for the Ballantine’s drinker who wonders what it would taste like if bottled at 50%. Their 18-year-old Black Bull, endorsed by golfer Nick Faldo, was marvelously sweet. Their ‘Octave’ 2015 Dalmunach was like concentrated Christmas cake in a glass. (In previous years, a sister cask of this had been selected by Channel Four producers to feature on their weekend breakfast show and pop star Alexandra Burke had exploded with delight on tasting it. I know how she felt, having tasted this.)

From ‘Dramfool’, as well as a recommended barbecue sauce containing the three whiskies made at Bruichladdich distillery, there was also their ‘Glen Marvelous’, which would have knocked out ‘Glen Hitman from Detroit’ in well under three rounds. A 14-year-old Glenrothes, it had been matured in a first fill bourbon cask, was extremely sweet, tasted of toffee and certainly didn’t need water.

Mossburn and Torabhaig distillery tasting

Presenting for Skye based distillery Torabhaig and parent bottling company Mossburn was Stewart Dick, who soon showed that his company take a unique, boffin-based approach to distilling, maturation, and bottling, having been producing whisky since the 90s.
Their ’Speyside Blended Malt’, at 46%, had been matured in what Stewart calls ‘Hybrid Casks’, different types of wood in one cask, such as sherry wood with virgin oak ends. The company never bottles below 46%, neither chill-filtering nor adding colour. Priced as ‘an attractive daily drink’, I found orange and vanilla on the nose with orange and spice on the taste. One drop of water made the finish very long.

A 2010 Strathmill, at 46%, had been fully matured in virgin oak. Stewart got Marzipan on the nose while I found vanilla sauce. Water opened it considerably to reveal vanilla, fudge, caramel, and lots of fruit.

2008 Benrinnes, finished in a Moscatel cask, and bottled at 54.9% was awesome. I found Turkish delight and velvet on the nose with most orange on the taste. It didn’t need water at all.

Their Island blended malt contained whisky from Orkney, Islay, and Mull, featuring notes of Murray Mints and light smoke. The reader is advised to compare this one to Douglas Laing’s ‘Rock Island’ and other similar whiskies.

Stewart then gave us the background story behind the young Torabhaig distillery, the second distillery on the island. The late Sir Iain Noble, merchant banker, had bought land on Skye, two farm steadings earmarked to convert. Sir Iain had done a tremendous amount to revive Gaelic and obtained planning permission for conversion in 2000 though he died in 2010.

When the site was bought in 2014 by Morrison, it was rather dilapidated, almost falling down. Since then, it’s been transformed into a shiny new complex with a pagoda roof installed to let passing tourists know that it’s a distillery. Nine Douglas Fir Washbacks were planned for installation but it turned out there was only room for eight. The distillery can’t quite do 24/7 production and there is one pair of stills. A warehouse with the capacity for a thousand casks has been built.

After that, we moved onto Torabhaig whisky and the second release of the ‘Legacy’ Series, entitled ‘Allt Gleann’, at 46%. Described as being ‘elegantly rugged’ with ‘well-tempered peat’, I detected lightly smoked fish on the nose and vanilla on the taste. The barley used had 77 ppm of peat and a 90-hour fermentation. The distillation was slow and the cut of the spirit was high, reducing medicinal notes and helping the peat in the glass to end up at 17 ppm. This had been matured in a mix of first and second fill bourbon casks.

To end, we had one of the ‘club reserve’ releases, bottled in 2022 at 62.6% and 5 years old. This single cask bottling was very smoky and fishy, being made manageable by adding 1 ml of water. The distillery has recruited nine distillers who already lived on Skye, picked precisely because they knew nothing about brewing and distilling, giving them no preconceptions. There will be a ‘journeymen series’ released in 2025.

Brave New Spirits tasting with Paul Dempsey

Having made his Dufftown tasting debut in October 2022 at the Whisky Colours Festival, Paul Dempsey returned to present whisky from this new bottling company, formed two years ago, with Paul joining a year later. Based in Glasgow and with a warehouse in Glasgow, the company has a German owner and a Polish one who, between them, have fifty to sixty years’ experience in the industry. This tasting would be a world premiere for some of the whiskies featured.

First was a ‘Yellow Edition’ Dailuaine 11-year-old, at 50.1%, matured in a first fill bourbon cask. Yellow edition indicates the company’s classic and traditional range and this one smelled of warm butter on toast with the same again on taste. The finish was warm and long with vanilla. Paul described it as a breakfast whisky, opining that Dailuaine works well with bourbon casks and doesn’t need finishing.

From the ‘Cask Noir’ range, a range with packaging and advertising reminiscent of posters for vintage movies, was 14-year-old ‘Telford’s Travels to Gascony’, at 52.3%, which, contrary to my expectation, had nothing to do with D’Artagnan and everything to do with architect Thomas Telford, the brains behind the bridge at Craigellachie and the whisky from the town’s distillery being finished for two to three years in a Pacheranc white wine barrique. I found Fry’s orange cream on the nose, together with Turkish Delight, a creamy and malty taste with fruit syrup and a sweet, long, and rich finish. The bead test was phenomenal.

Cask Noir ‘Ivy in love’ was from the ivy-covered distillery of Blair Athol, 58.4% and the first time a bottle had been opened from this bottling. The nose was very orangey with official tasting notes saying, ‘Chocolate raisins, Christmas mince pies, sherry trifle and roasted chestnuts.’

Yellow Edition North British 13-year-old grain whisky, at 60.6%, had been fully matured in a first fill PX cask, which Paul considers the ‘most upfront’ of sherries. It was soft and fruity on the nose with a sweet taste, featuring light notes of orange and marmalade on toast on the finish.

The first opening of Cask Noir ‘Sentinel’s Legacy’ 22-year-old Benrinnes, at 52.6%, did suggest a vintage television show starring Roger Moore and Patrick MacNee or, perhaps, a vintage film starring George Sanders. Fully matured in a first fill oloroso quarter cask, this had both toffee sauce and raspberry ripple on the nose with hazelnut chocolate spread on the taste. Official notes say ‘crème caramel, roasted marzipan.

To end, we had the ‘Whisky of Voodoo’ Rusty Cauldron Caol Ila 11-year-old, at 54%. This was not a single cask bottling and contained whisky from both refill sherry butts and Lafite casks, a succulent heavy wine.

There was Murray Mints, again, on the nose, with hints of smoked fish and sweet smoke.

West Coast Whisky quiz and Arran Tasting with Mariella Romano

Arran distillery’s Brand Ambassador Mariella Romano presented a whisky quiz accompanied by several whiskies from Arran and the new Lagg distillery, opened for business in 2019 and located on the same island in the Firth of Clyde. I soon discovered that reporting on a quiz you’re taking part in is an impossibility, so notes are brief.
My team, named by ‘Milk and Denim’ by team member Allan Drysdale, came in third behind Dutch duo ‘Badeendjes’, or Rubber ducks. We were leading until fairly near the end before being overtaken.

However, some observations about the quiz and the whiskies are noteworthy.
I had though Cher was looking rough these days, but the photo was, apparently, Marilyn Manson.

The whiskies featured were:
Arran Amarone wine finish, a favourite of Mariella’s, at 50%, the peated, sherry matured ‘Fingal’s Cave’, the Quarter Cask Matured Bothy, the Pinot Noir Finish, the Arran 18-year-old, and a batch of Lagg.

From notes taken last year when Mariella presented her tasting, I recommend the curious reader begins his or her trip to the whiskies with ‘Barrel Reserve’ at 43%. This is a light, sweet, bourbon cask matured whisky that makes both an ideal introduction and a tremendous session whisky. Also recommended to go with the whiskies are the ‘Vital Spark’ and ‘Para Handy Tales’ television programmes, along with vintage film ‘The Maggie’, a classic Ealing Studios film with lots of charming detail and all are based on the writings of Neil Munro.

The ‘Bothy’ bottling is tremendous, a genuine ‘bourbon bomb’ while the ‘Bodega’ bottling is not fully matured in sherry casks since the light spirit is not suitable for it, but it does have as much sherry as the distillery believes it can take and makes an interesting alternative to rivals such as Glenfarclas 105 and Aberlour A’Bunadh. The Fingal’s Cave bottling is what Bowmore might be without dilution and chill-filtration, with both a minty nose and warm, chewy toffee sauce on the taste.

Peated spirit, used for the ‘Machrie Moor’ series ceased production in 2017 though whisky matured before then is still maturing and peated whisky is made at the new Lagg distillery.

Strictly Come Dramming with Mike and Vicky

Mike Lord and Vicky Keough presented a series of whiskies and dressed up as if presented a BBC show featuring mostly people you’ve never heard of dancing with a professional. There were accompanying clips of the dances mentioned from a nearby school of dance but, since I am to both dancing and describing dancing what an anvil is to skydiving, I decided to concentrate on the whiskies.

Having chosen the dancing theme, Mike had found that the title was the only possible pun based on either the British or American versions of the programme. I suggested that ‘Staggering with the Stars’ might have been a better choice, but Mike said this wasn’t in keeping with the theme of responsible drinking and I literally died laughing. (Thankfully, my body grew back a few minutes later and I was able to resume.)

From Gordon and MacPhail, there was a ‘Distillery Label’ 2009 Strathisla, at 46%. It smelled of syrup and oranges, with the taste being mellow, charming, and light orange again.

Glenallachie 10-year-old Spanish Virgin Oak Finish, at 48%abv, had sticky toffee pudding aromas and, apparently, ‘lashings of orchard fruits’. The finishing in virgin oak lasted eighteen months. The Flora and Fauna Distillery bottling of Benrinnes 15-year-old, at 43%abv, tasted and smelled of orange concentrate.

The WSD exclusive bottling of Berry Brothers Glen Elgin made its second tasting appearance of the long weekend. The 18-year-old distillery bottling of Tamdhu, at 46.8%, tasted of thick, heavy treacle, the kind you could dance on the top of. WSD notes describe it as ‘rum and raisin’ ice cream and I found it warm and syrupy, with a lot of toffee.

To end, there was 12-year-old ‘Wormtub’, at 58.3%, perhaps the find of the festival. An unspecified whisky from an independent bottler, this had been finished in an oloroso hogshead for some fifty months. An impromptu bead test by me indicated this wasn’t from Craigellachie distillery, but it was excellent, with sherry trifle on the nose, toffee, raisins, walnuts, and dried currants on the taste before Christmas cake on the finish. Despite the high bottling strength, it had no burn and didn’t taste prickly, hopefully indicating no hedgehogs had got into the cask.

Kilchoman to conclude with by Antea Allegro

After Mike changed out of his tuxedo and bow-tie from the previous session, into his customary bullet-proof vest made from Chuck Norris, we had the Kilchoman tasting. Presenting for the small, picturesque Islay distillery, built on a farm near Machir Bay in 2005 was Antea Allegro, who took us through the distillery’s history and debuted two whiskies from their range.
The 2020 annual release of ‘100% Islay’, at 50%, contained whisky distilled between 2007 and 2010. The series is the only whisky in Scotland to be produced entirely on one farm, from barley to bottle. I found the unusual combination of peaches and smoke on the nose, with hints of smoked fish on the taste and a warm, sweet, long finish. Antea describes this as a ‘very soft Islay’, the barley used was 20 PPM peat, there were 39 bourbon barrels and 2 sherry butts in this vatting.

Antea said that the distillery has used unpeated barley and uses 50 PPM peated barley too. The distillery makes some 600,000 litres per annum, an impressive expansion from its beginning. Antea also believes oloroso maturation accentuates the peaty taste of Kilchoman and says that finishes represent between five and ten percent of production. There are some 12,000 or so bottles per annum of this release

The 2022 bottling from the same series was matured in Buffalo Trace bourbon casks and Oloroso casks with component whiskies being between eight and ten years old. I found light fruits and more peat on the nose with cereal and malty tastes. The finish was relatively short with honey notes, perhaps the Winnie the Pooh of whisky….

The distillery also uses 50 PPM peated barley from Port Ellen maltings and has an 85-hour fermentation, twice the industry average. Port Ellen barley apparently has a much higher yield than local Kilchoman barley. Distillery new-make spirit has abundant cereal notes.
The ‘Machir Bay’, one of two core releases, alongside the ‘Sanaig’ bottling, was a revelation, the best it had been by far. First released in 2012, 80 percent of the casks previously held bourbon. Now, it is 90 % and five years old, bottled at 46%. Antea noted the salinity and Islay character of this and I found lightly salted fish with a spot of peat and a relatively short finish. Antea finds ‘pineapple, mango and banana’ in this, her description bringing Doctor No to mind. There is also a cask strength release of this bottling.

The Cognac matured bottling received its first opening here. It had an impressive bead test, especially given that it had been reduced to 50% for bottling. Fully matured in first fill cognac casks, 15,000 bottles are available of this. Antea found the smokiness of this imperceptible and I found warm honey, with best results being achieved by adding 1 ml of water. Also getting its first opening was the excellent Fino fully matured bottling, also at 50%. Some five years old, there was a combination of saltiness and sweetness on the taste, combined with strawberry Chewits, a characteristic of Fino sherry maturation.

The 2023 Loch Gorm release, at 46%, had been fully matured in oloroso casks, some 22 of them, filled between 2013 and 2015. There was oranges and marmalade on the nose, an elegant taste with subtle sweetness and notes of fudge.


With that, I’d like to thank everyone involved in organizing and running the festival, in particular Mike, Val, and Vicky at the WSD, Steve Oliver, Sue, Gordon and Mr Flibble, the Coffee Pot, the Dufftown Fusion chippie, the Glassworks, and the Whisky Capital Inn, formerly known as the Commercial.

I’m off on a double mission: to throw Donald Trump’s wig on the fire and to slip Joe Biden a piece of paper with PTO on both sides so wish me luck and I hope to see you at the Whisky Colours Festival in October.