Wednesday, 25 November 2015

N 58 58 4.3 / W 2 57 19.9

Far up the North of Scotland,on the same geographical latitude as the Swedish Stockholm and Norwegian Stavanger, there is a group of British islands called Orkney. On their voyages, the Vikings landed there centuries ago and according to the many Orcadian myths and sagas, they most likely used Orkney and the Shetland islands as their base to raid Scotland, England and Ireland.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Swords and Feathers

From the Newcastle ferry, where we - as many European Mainlanders - arrive with our own car, it is an almost straight West when following the whole A69 to Carlisle, where our route turns North following the M6, towards our beloved Scotland. It only takes very little time when we cross the river Sark, which forms the natural border between the North of England and the South of Scotland. From this point, it takes us less than 15 minutes to reach the picturesque Annandale distillery where we stretch our legs, have a cup of coffee and a lush piece of homemade cake.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Smokes on the water of life, and a bottle of rum

We have been to several festivals in the Netherlands and love finding new festivals to go to and discover. At most events we find the same tables and selections of whiskies, and the only difference seems to be a bigger or smaller location. After a while, there is less and less to discover whisky-wise, and therefore we really like festivals that present a mix of different spirits. We are not looking for people dressed up in pirate costumes, groups of kilted bagpipers blowing our ears to smithereens, sounds of approaching thunderstorms accompanied with a thick layer of mist, or half naked ladies in wellies presenting us a little too much of themselves instead of the whisky the seem to represent. Just keep it simple, you might know by now how we feel about marketing.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Maltstock 2015


This lengthy article covers many of the relaxed events happening at Maltstock 2015. 
It may cause a relaxed jealousy, start you (relaxedly) drinking whisky or trigger uncontrolled (but very relaxed) urges to purchase relaxed tickets for the next edition

Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Sleeping Beauty..?

You know the feeling when starting something and just not getting it to complete satisfaction? It just seems not to “do” what you want it to “do”? For us, this happened to what we experienced the morning after the Benelux release of “the Beast of Dufftown” in Brussels, where we had a chat with Georgie Bell, Global Brand Ambassador for Diageo’s Mortlach whisky, and therefore nicknamed “Miss Mortlach”. She had found some time in her busy schedule in between her breakfast and chocolate shopping. It was a lovely talk, where we left with a lot of information, but, at the same time, nothing at all... We decided to let it rest for a little while, go on our #WhiskyFabric trip to Scotland, have some fun, and revisit the event with the just arrived Mortlach samples from the event, so we could make some notes and find out who Georgie is, and what she does.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Stand together, fight together

It is the beginning of July 2015, Wimbledon is in its final stage, the Formula-1 circus has landed in Silverstone, and here - in the Netherlands - the Tour the France is about to kick off during the hottest day recorded in years. This takes us to go mesmerizing about what we were doing only a month ago on Islay, where it is currently 17 degrees and nothing really commercial is happening except the production of the best whiskies of the world, some of which have stolen a special place in our hearts.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A lot of But(t)s, howevers and althoughs

Our first time in Scotland was only in 2012. In our fully packed two week programme we had managed to squeeze in a two-night stay in a (great) B&B, see all of the eight distilleries and fall in love with the Queen of the Hebrides: Islay. This was at the start of our journey, and even without knowing what lay ahead of us, we already had the feeling we did not really want to leave again. A promise was made that we would come back in several years, and explore the island a little more. Several years, mind you... So the very next year, we found ourselves in a small cottage in Port Ellen, just for the two of us, during Fèis Ìle: the Islay festival of Music and Malts. One whole week, and although we would be submerged in Festival activities, we probably would have some time to explore the island herself and enjoy some of the beauties she has to offer, right?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

#WhiskyFabric Gathering - Feis Ile 2015

Plans for the Feis Ile 2015 festivities were made over a year before, where online chats began about the 200th year celebrations of Ardbeg and Laphroaig and how cool it would be to be able to meet all of the #WhiskyFabric people on Islay. 

Most people we had met only online so far, and we were looking forward to taking it offline and get to know the faces behind the avatars a bit more. So did the planning begin, and many of the so called #WhiskyFabric people planned to come to this little island of the West coast of Scotland. People making arrangements to stay together at cottages, tickets booked, and a #WhiskyFabric gathering set in motion for during the festival. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

the Beast of Dufftown

Over the past few years, we have tasted our fair share of Mortlach whiskies, and except for the rare Diageo bottlings, most of them were only available from independent bottlers, and most of the ones we have tasted we in private collections other than our own (hence the lack of proper notes).

Times change; Diageo announced mid 2014 they will be releasing a Mortlach single malt range comprised of three different expressions and a travel retail version, starting in the UK. Since the UK release there was a lot of buzz about the pricing, size and availability of the bottles, and May 7th 2015 it was time for the Benelux release party of "the Beast of Dufftown" in Brussels, and WhiskySpeller was invited to enjoy Luxury Whisky Ambassador Georgie Bell's presentation and create our own opinion.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Spirit of Speyside Bake Off

The Whisky Shop Dufftown recently ran a competition to find the best Speyside whisky inspired Cupcake of Muffin. Contestors had to think whisky, and invent a whisky inspired cupcake or muffin. Of course a (well available) Speyside whisky had to be either in the cupcake, or had to fit the recipe in a pairing. After a couple of rounds, the judges and organisers had come up with a series of cupcakes and muffins that would be judged in one final round by the festival visitors, the first weekend of May.