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Mother & Daughter Working Together v2

This entry was posted in Interviews, Uncategorized on by .

Well, Vicky (my mum) did her blog post a few months ago about what it's like to work together, so I guess I should post my version too!

Myself & mum moved to Dufftown in 2006. I was only about 8, so obviously didn't drink whisky back then, but mum didn't drink it either. We did the usual tour round a distillery, and in all honesty I thought it was gross - all I could smell was manure! Not a good first impression of whisky!

Mum joined the shop in 2006, well when I say joined, she heard Mike was short staffed one day and pretty much turned up at the shop and didn't give poor Mike a chance to come up with an excuse as to why he could say no. Not much has changed in 13 years!

I joined the shop just after my 18th birthday, February 2015 I think is the official start date for when I joined. Strangely enough, it wasn't mum who got me interested in whisky. I think it was an old employer who first gave me a try of Monkey Shoulder, and I was pretty amazed by it - it didn't smell anything like the manure stinking distillery! After a bit of badgering, Mike agreed to give me some training in the shop to see how I did and 4 years later I'm still here!

People often ask if it's weird working with family, but in all honesty I don't really notice it much. Me and mum have always been close, working together just strengthened that closeness. We've got the type of bond where we can just look at each other and know what's about to be said. I don't think we've ever had a falling out over work, and we're pretty good at managing to separate our work and home lives when it comes to being together on days off. Before having my daughter, we used to work together on Friday's in the shop. Now mum looks after my little one on the days I work so it's not often we're in the shop together. I think Mike's secretly glad of this, I don't think he coped right well when me and mum both agreed on something, especially if he didn't agree!

Working with mum as my manager (oops, sorry that should say Director, she's just been promoted!) has really helped my confidence and motivation. She's always been my biggest supporter, helping me with training, tasting notes (we've tasted a lot of whiskies together in 4 years), to encouraging me to apply for different whisky related courses and introducing me to the big names in the industry. I'm also really proud of how far she's come in the last few years too. It's not easy being in the whisky industry at the best of times, but being female can really throw it's challenges into the mix too. But mum's dealt with the (silly) people along the way who may have thought that whisky is a mans drink, or being in the industry is for men only, and she's proved them wrong each day for the last 13 years.

I don't know anyone else who works with their mum, so I can't really compare my experience against theirs, but I'd have to say it's pretty awesome working with my mum. It's like having a boss, mum and best friend rolled in to one!

The downside? Everyone who knows us says "Hi Vicky" to me when they phone the shop!


The Whisky Shop Dufftown 7 Stills T-Shirt

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The 7 Stills T-shirt has the shop logo on the front and on the back there is a list of distilleries of Dufftown past and present.

This item can only be ordered as part of an order containing whisky or on it's own for delivery in the UK for an additional £2 which will be charged to your card separatly.

Please specify the size and colour required in the comments field when placing your order.

Available in Black, Burgundy and Bottle Green (shown) and sizes M, L, XL, XXL. XXXL is availble in Black only.

The 7 Stills of Dufftown T-Shirt

2012 Sep 30 @ 20:30 - An Evening of Scotch Music with Paul Anderson & Shona Donaldson

This entry was posted in Blog, Uncategorized, Whisky Tastings and Events News and tagged , on by .

Spend a wonderful evening of traditional Scottish music and song with a modern twist in the company of Shona Donaldson and Paul Anderson, two very talented musicians from the North East of Scotland.  There will be bothie ballads and much more to capture the heart and beauty of Scotland both the land and its people.

To book click here.

Already something of a legend in the time honoured fiddle tradition of Scotland; Paul Anderson is the finest Scots fiddler of his generation. He is already something of an icon in Scotland, a fact duly recognised by two specially commissioned portraits of him, a life size one in Aberdeen Art Gallery and a study which is in the care of the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.

During his competitive career Paul won most of the traditional fiddle championships in Scotland and in 1995 won Scotland’s premier fiddling event, the Glenfiddich Scottish fiddle championship which is held each year at Blair Castle.

In the tradition of many of Scotland’s great fiddler’s, Paul is a composer of some repute, having composed over 300 pieces in the Scots style.

A regular on Scottish T.V and radio, Paul has toured extensively and recorded eight solo albums and over forty albums with artists like Pallas, Rock Salt and Nails, The Cutting Edge and the Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society.

Singer and musician Shona Donaldson is one of Scotland's leading young tradition bearers. The twenty seven year old from Huntly grew up surrounded by music and dancing in the heart of North-east Scotland's bothy ballad country. Shona has been a regular supporter of the various TMSA Festivals throughout Scotland, being their Young Singer of Merit in 2004.

Shona’s career highlight came in December 2009 when she was voted The Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year at The MG ALBA Traditional Music Awards.  In February 2010 Shona was a finalist in The Bothy Ballad Championships in Elgin, only the 2nd women in the competition.

From November 2009- April 2011 Shona was Singer in residence for Deveron Arts in her home town of Huntly.  This residency enabled Shona to teach local songs and traditions at the Primary and Secondary schools. Shona has also produced her CD “Short Nichts and Lang Kisses” ; original songs in a traditional style as well as new tunes for texts from The Grieg-Duncan Collection.  It was released in April 2011 to great critical acclaim.

To book click here.

Black Bull 40 Years Old Batch 3

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By Mark Watt aged... well too young really.

One of the highlights of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2012 was Black Bull 40 Years Old Batch 3 created by Mark Watt.  This is still not available.  This whisky was shown at the Duncan Taylor tasing hosted by owner Euan Shand.

During the tasting the assemble audience jointly created the following tasting note:


Granny Smith apples (not the person), mint and melon.  Pear drops, acid drops and All Spice (due to indecision).  And cut grass.  Brown sugar, candy, caramel and a hunk of Kiwi (the fruit not a person).


Crunchie (the chocolate bar with a toffee crisp centre).  More mint.  Dark chocolate orange running to coffee (apologies to DL).  A soft dry smokiness.  Sugared nuts (the nut variety), pineapple, toffee, may be even pineapple toffee.  Aniseed and cinnamon.


We had to before we could come up with one.

Benromach 2002 Pedro Ximinez Wood Finish

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By Mike Lord

A brand new release from Benromach.  The Benromach 2002 Predro Ximinez shows again that Benromach is a force to be reckoned with.  This Benromach was distilled in 2002 and bottled in September 2010. It spent most of its life in a Bourbon cask and was then finished for 30 months in Pedro Ximenez casks.  This expression is limited to 1800 bottles and its first rate.

My tasting notes

Nose: It has a fruity toffee nose with that sherry spiciness which hints of smoke. There's hints of peach skins and orange peel and a notes of menthol and tar in the background.

Taste: Sweet, rich and creamy. Singed orange peel. Reminiscent of an Old Fashioned where the orange peel has been flamed.

Finish: Long spicy and warming.

Dalmore Rivers Collection

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By Mike Lord

The Dalmore Rivers collection is four whiskies created by Richard Paterson so you can expect exceptionally well crafted whiskies. Richard has tried  to reflect the character, charm and differences of each of these great fishing rivers.  A donation will be made from the sale of these whiskies to the charitable trusts who work to keep these rivers beautiful.  Each whisky is bespoke and unique in character, much like the great rivers they support.

These whiskies feature in Steven McConachie's tasting during the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2011.  Come an try them then.

All the tasting notes are from Dalmore

Dalmore Dee Dram

Nose: Powerful and Positive. Full bodied with vibrant notes of spicy cinnamon, followed with dark roasted coffee and chocolate.

Taste: Enticing flavours of tangy orange peel, ginger, liquorice and walnuts, followed by ripe plums and wild berries.

Dalmore Spey Dram

Nose: Warm inviting aromas of patchouli, jasmine and marzipan.

Taste: Christmas pudding, orange rind, hazelnuts and ripe cherries, followed by hidden flavours of Java coffee and rich treacle.

Dalmore Tay Dram

Nose: Captivating notes of tangerine with hints of eucalyptus

Taste: Intense flavours of crème brulee, Colombian coffee and bitter chocolate lead the first wave. Yet within seconds enchanting suggestions of honeyed pear, crushed almonds, sweet blood oranges and cranberries provide the perfect finish. Sip and savour.

Dalmore Tweed Dram

Nose: Warm and inviting. Seville oranges, crushed pear, bergamot and apple. Marzipan and rich caramel follow completing the bouquet.

Taste: Tantalizing flavours of spicy ginger, marmalade and cinnamon followed by Whispers of nutmeg and toffee leaving the perfect after taste.

Famous or Infamous Mortlach Quotes

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A direct quote from the film Apocalypse Now.  You can check it out.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078788/quotes

Kilgore is the American Lieutenant Colonel from the 1/9 Air Cavalry played by Robert Duval.

Kilgore: I love the smell of Mortlach in the morning. You know, one time, in a bar in Japan, we drank Mortlach for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked strangely. We didn't find one dram left, not one stinkin' dram left. The smell, you know that sherry smell, the whole bar. Smelled like
[sniffing, pondering]
Kilgore: victory. Someday this whiskies gonna end...

OK.  So slightly adapted

Single Malts from Mackillop's Choice Independent Bottler

This entry was posted in New Whisky Releases and Bottlings, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , on by .

Just starting to catch up with some new whiskies in the shop.

Mackillop’s Choice

I was introduced to this independent bottler at tasting at the beginning of the year and I was so impressed I got some in.  These aren’t new bottling but they are all impressive.

Mackillop's Choice Benrinnes 1989 15 Years Old (58.8%, £58.95)

An unusual Benrinnes as it is from a straight Bourbon cask which lets more of the spirit character comes through.

Nose: Salt, shortbread, toffee, digestive biscuits and pencils.

Taste: Vanilla, toffee, cream, panacotta, sponge cake and lemon curd.

Finish: Salt, syrup and brandy cream.

Mackillop's Choice Bowmore 1989 18 Years Old (57.4%, £89.95)

As  big a perfumed smoky Bowmore as you will find anywhere with some additional notes added from the sherry cask.

Nose: Warm roads, dark treacle, smoky bacon crisps with salt, black pepper corns.

Taste: Perfumed smoke and spice, cream, lavender and potpourri.

Finish: Smoldering embers and coffee with crispy streaky bacon.

Mackillop's Choice Highland Park 1991 15 Years Old (53.9%, £78.95)

A very well put together Highland Park.

Nose: Hot fudge. Treacle biscuits. Ready salted crisps. Vanilla custard creams. Hints of cordite and heather smoke.

Taste:  Sweet. Honey. Creamy. Raisins and caramel.

Finish: Hot smoke and cream.

Mackillop's Choice Macallan 1988 18 Years Old (55.5%, £97.50)

A complex Macallan where the sherry is balanced by a range of other flavours which all brought to mind baking.

Nose: Glace cherries, plums, sweet pastry and freshly baked fruit cake.

Taste: Cream, fudge, raisins, spice, creme brulee and hot cross buns.

Finish: Hot scones with raisins.

By Mike Lord

The WSD Challenge 2010

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This was another very competitive competition.  Independent Bottlers entered their whiskies in to 2 categories: Speyside; and The Rest of Whisky.  The winners, voted for by attendees at The Whisky Shop Dufftown during the Spirit of Speyside Festival were:


First place: Old Malt Cask Probably Speyside's Finest 1967 41 Years Old (Jan Beckers)

Second place: Duncan Taylor Rare Auld Glen Grant 1987 22 Years Old (Mark Watt)

Third place: Tie between Weymss Spiced Apples (Susan Colville) and Adelphi Glenallachie 1973 26 Years Old (SOLD OUT)

The Rest of Whisky

First Place: Adelphi Bunnahabhain 1968 41 Years Old

Second Place: Mackillops Bowmore 1989 (IN STOCK SOON)

Third Place: Douglas Laing Big Peat.

The winner of the competition for the best tasting note was by Ed Velthuizew from Holland.  His prize was a bottle of his favourite whisky from the challenge which was the Adelphi Bunnahabhain.

Michael Lord