Ga naar de inhoud


Whisky Collection Bar > D

15 years old
43 %
James Buchanan Ltd, Distillers,
Glasgow & London

19 years old
40 %
LAST  BOTTLE  AND  EMPTY                      
Distilled 1970
Bottled 1989
Proprietors: Jas. Buchanan Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

36 years old
47.2 %                   
Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled in 1966
Bottled in 2002
Limited Edition of 1500 bottles
Genummerde flessen
Dalwhinnie Distillery,
Dalwhinnie, Inverness-shire

29 years old
57,8 %          
Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky
Second very special release
Distilled 1973
Bottled in 2003
Limited Edition
5250 Numbered Bottles
Dalwhinnie Distillery,
Dalwhinnie, Inverness-shire

20 years old
56,8 %  
Fine Cask Strenght  Single Malt Whiskies
Highland Single Malt  Scotch Whisky  
Natural Cask Strenght
Distilled in  1986
Matured in  2nd refill Sherry European Oak casks
Bottled in  2006
Just 4200 individually numbered  
bottles available world-wide
180 bottles available for the Netherlands
Dalwhinnie Distillery, Dalwhinnie, Inverness-shire

43 %                                                          
1 9 8 0                                                          

Limited Edition
Special Release
Double Matured  D. SC.  312
Oloroso Cask Wood
Dalwhinnie Distillery, Dalwhinnie, Inverness - shire

Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
43 %
Winter is coming
A Single Malt Scotch from
The Game of Thrones Collection
Limited Edition Collection of Single Malts
Dalwhinnie Distillery, Dalwhinnie,
Inverness – shire


House Torgaryen:Cardhu
House Stark:Dalwhinnie
House Lannister:Lagavulin
House Tully:The Singleton
House Tyrell:Clynelish
House Baratheon:Royal Lochnagar
House Greyjoy:Talisker
The Night’s Watch:Oban

The Midlands

Dalwhinnie, Inverness-shire. Licentiehouder: James Buchanan & Co, Limited. Onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (S.M.D.). De malt divisie van United Distillers Ltd. Eigendom van Guinness.
Dalwhinnie betekent ontmoetingsplaats. De oorspronkelijke naam was Strathspey. De kosten van de bouw zouden £ 10.000 bedragen.

De stichters van Strathspey waren John Grant, Alex Mackenzie en George Sellar. Mackenzie een architekt ontwierp de distilleerderij.

De plaats, heel afgelegen, was gekozen omdat de Highland Railway er dichtbij langs liep en de Great North Road er voor langs liep.
Strathspey werd opgestart in Februari 1998, op het hoogtepunt van de whiskygekte dieepmet het frauduleus bankroet van de Pattisons
In October werd Strathspey gekocht door A.P. Blyth, manager van een distillerij te Leith de distilleerderij ten behoeve van zijn zoon. Strathspey werd verbouwd onder de leiding van de toen beroemde architekt Charles Doig, en de nieuwe naam werd Dalwhinnie
Op 10 Februari 1905 werd Dalwhinnie verkocht voor £ 1250 aan Cook & Bernheimer te New York en Baltimore, toen de grootste distillateurs in Amerika. De naam van hun dochteronderneming werd James Munro & Son Ltd, gevestigd in Inverness.

Zij namen een groot lagerpakhuizen complex over te Leith, waarboven altijd de Amerikaanse vlag woei.

De eerste poging van Amerikaanse investeringen eindigden in 1919, het begin van de Amerikaanse drooglegging.

Sir James Calder, van Macdonald Greenlees & Williams Ltd, whiskyblenders te Leith, was de koper en met de overname in 1926 door The Distillers Company Ltd van Macdonald Greenlees & Williams Ltd, werd Dalwhinnie onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd (S.M.D.).

Dalwhinnie staat 327 meter boven de zeespiegel.

Op 1 Februari 1934 werd Dalwhinnie grotendeels door brand verwoest. In April 1938 werd Dalwhinnie weer opgestart, maar was gedurende de tweede wereldoorlog weer gesloten In 1960 werd er gemoderniseerd.
Dalwhinnie is Station 0582 van de meteorlogische dienst.

Dalwhinnie heeft twee met stoom verhitte ketels met een kapaciteit van 1,2 miljoen liter spirit per jaar.

Dalwhinnie maakt deel uit van de Classic Malts en The Distillers Edition series.
De Mash tun is 6,8 ton, de Wash backs (zes stuks) kunnen elk 34000 liter bevatten.
Er staat 1 Wash still van 17000 liter en een spirit still van 14000 liter.
Het water komt van de Allt an T'Slui Spring.

De manager is David Hardy, hij is ook de manager van Blair Athol (2003).


October 2005
De Classic Malts of Scotland serie, bestaande uit:
Glenkinchie 10 years old,
Dalwhinnie 15 years old,
Cragganmore 12 years old,
Oban 14 years old,
Talisker 10 years old,
Lagavulin 16 years old

verandert van samenstelling
Oban 14 year old wordt vervangen door
Glen Elgin 12 years old, Lagavulin 16
years old wordt vervangen door Caol
Ila 12 years old
Dit komt omdat de betrokken distilleerderijen
de produktie niet meer aankunnen.


tegelijkertijd wordt onder de naam
Classic Malts Selection een 3- Bottle
Plinth uitgebracht met:
Glen Elgin 12 years old,
Talisker 10 years old,
Caol Ila 12 years old

Glen Elgin
12 years old
Natuur geuren 15 %
Fruitigheid 60 %
Turf 10 %
Houttonen 15 %
deze malt kenmerkt zich door
zijn volle en zachte smaak met
een explosie van vers geel fruit
10 years old
Natuur geuren
Fruitigheid 30 %
Turf 70 %
een aromatische, explosieve en
prikkelende malt van Skye die
uiteindelijk ook zoete tonen
laat proeven
12 years old
Natuur geuren 50 %
Turf 50 %
een malt met een duidelijk karakter,
krachtig compleet met zee-aroma's
en de geur van hout-vuur.

The place-name "Dalwhinnie" derives from a Gaelic word meaning "the meeting place". Here, in former times, cattle drovers coming from Inverness and farther north met those who had crossed the Monadhliath Mountains from the west, and rested their herds before ascending the Pass of Drumochter on their way to the cattle fairs of the south. Here, too, the military road through the Central Highlands, built by General Wade in 1728-31, forked west to Fort Augustus and north to Inverness. A section of the original road, unused except by distillery transport, can still be seen immediately north of the crossing of the distillery burn by the "old A9". The Strathspey Distillery - that was its original name - wasbuilt at a height of 1,073 feet (327 metres) above sea-level. The main reason for choosing this location was its access to abundant, cold and uncontaminated mountain water close to its source in Lochan an Doire-uaine. This supply flows underground for some way before forming the Allt an t-Sluic, the distillery burn. The area, uninhabited and uncultivated for many miles, held ample reserves of peat.
The site chosen for the distillery was bounded at the rear by the main railway line from Inverness to the south, and on the front by the Great North Road. The Inverness Courier, on 26 January 1897, predicted that the cost would be "something like £0", and that the buildings would be "of ample character, well adapted to stand the rigours of this high climate". As it turned out, it was an economic blizzard that wrecked the new enterprise. The promoters included John Grant, J.P., of Gran-town-on-Spey, solicitor and sherriff's clerk depute for Inverness-shire, Alex Mackenzie, C.E., of Kingussie, architect and burgh surveyor, and George Sellar,also of Kingussie, grocer and draper. Mackenzie designed the distillery. Strathspey began production in February 1898, the year when the speculative boom in building malt whisky distilleries reached its peak. The venture was not a commercial success, and went into liquidation. In October, A. P. Blyth, managing director of a distillery company in Leith, announced that he had bought Strathspey on behalf of his son. Charles Doig of Elgin, a well-known distillery architect, was engaged to make "considerable improvements on the buildings and plant"; an application for a railway siding was made and the distillery was given a new name, Dalwhinnie. A. P. Blyth & Son resold it on 10 February 1905 to Cook & Bernheimer, of New York and Baltimore, the largest distillers in the USA at that time. The price was £1,250.

Many people in Scotland feared that the purchase of Dalwhinnie might be the first step to an American take-over of the Scotch whisky industry. Some Scotch whisky traders took the more hopeful view that Cook & Bernheimer's purchase was part of a move to promote sales of its prod-ucts in the USA and Canada, which could result in favourable publicity for the Scotch whisky industry as a whole. At that time, South Africa and Australia were the largest overseas markets for Scotch, and the vast potential market offered by the English-speaking population of North America had hardly been tapped.
Once established as distillers of Scotch malt whisky, Cook & Bernheimer formed a company, styled James Munro & Son Ltd., with registered offices in Inverness, to run the business. They also acquired a huge warehouse and office block at Boundary

House, 121/123 Constitution Street, Leith, above which the American flag was constantly flown, and where Scotch whiskies were blended "to suit the American palate".
The first stage of direct American involvement in the Scotch whisky industry came to an end in 1919 with the enactment of Prohibition. Cook & Bernheimer cut their losses by selling out to Sir James Calder, chairman of Macdonald Greenlees & Williams Ltd., Scotch whisky blenders, of Leith. Sir James sold this company to The Distillers Company Limited in 1926. Dalwhinnie Distillery has been operated by a DCL subsidiary, Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd., since 1930.An outbreak of fire on 1 February 1934 caused extensive damage, resulting in the closure of the distillery. Until that year, there was no electricity in the village; paraffin lamps were used to light the premises; there was no telephone, and steam engines were used for power. Dalwhinnie reopened in April 1938, after extensive rebuilding and refitting,' only to be closed again, as a result of Government restriction on the supply of barley to distillers, in the second world war.

The distillery was refitted again in the 1960's. The wash still and the spirit still were hand-fired until 1961, when they were converted to steam heating from a coal-fired boiler, which in turn was converted to oil-firing in 1972. The malt barns ceased production in 1968 and were converted to a racked warehouse in 1970. British Rail closed the private siding in 1979.
Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. owns 11 houses for occupation by employees and runs a hostel with ten bedrooms, and a full-time cook, to accommodate single workers, or craftsmen and contractors' men who need to stay overnight. It is not uncommon for Dalwhinnie to be snow-bound for four or five days at a time in severe winters. Angus MacDonald, a former distillery manager, has described days in 1937 when snowdrifts over twenty feet high piled up and people scrambled out of their houses through first-floor windows. In 1940, he and hismen worked for a week on end to clear snow from the railway siding and the loaded goods waggons
"We cleared by Friday. On Saturday there was another heavy fall and we had to start all over again."
A minor hazard of life is the propensity of red deer to raid gardens in the early hours of the morning. Dalwhinnie has been a secluded spot since it was by-passed in the 1970's by a new stretch of the A9.
Dalwhinnie Distillery is Station 0582 of the Meteorological Office. It is one of the manager's responsibilities to make a daily record of maximum and minimum temperatures, the number of hours of sunshine, wind speed and snow depth. He is also, ex-officio, a trustee of Dalwhinnie village hall. The distillery is the focal point of the community.
The licensed distillers are James Buchanan & Co. Ltd., of Glasgow and London, proprietors of Black & White, Buchanan's Reserve, Buchanan's de Luxe and The Buchanan Blend Scotch whiskies. They bottle limited quantities of Dalwhinnie malt whisky for the local market.

De juiste houten vaten selecteren om een single malt in te laten rijpen is traditioneel één van de vaardigheden van de distillateur.
De kombinatie van het hout en de pas gedistilleerde alcohol is mede bepalend voor het karakter van de malt whisky.
Als de gerijpte whisky later opnieuw een tijdje doorbrengt in een tweede vat kan hij aan diepte en komplexiteit winnen.
November 1997 werden een beperkt aantal vaten van de zes Classic Malts gebotteld waarvan de whiskies deze bewerking hebben ondergaan.
Van alle Spaanse soorten zijn Oloroso - vaten de meest karaktervolle en bijgevolg ook de meest gewaardeerde.
Oloroso staat voor droge, rijke concentratie van sterke geuren en betekent letterlijk 'welriekend'.
Olorosovaten zijn sterk geapprecieerde partners voor de tweede rijping van Dalwhinnie, omdat ze de uitgesproken geuren en smaken van de malt perfekt aanvullen.

From the highest distillery in Scotland, set in the windswept Grampian mountains with their unlimited supply of fresh water, comes this delightfully gentle, delicately smoky malt.
The Gaelic word from which the name Dalwhinnie comes is Dail-conneeah, which translates as 'meeting place'.
The highest distillery in Scotland was founded on these bleak, wind-swept central pastures in 1898.
The classic Highland Malt, Dalwhinnie ages slowly to develop a remarkable character. Fifteen years of gentle ageing make it a smooth, suble malt without a trace of harshness. Heartwarming yet also mellow and honeyed, its combination of delicacy and depth sets it apart.
Where it matters, Dalwhinnie retains the old ways. Increasingly rare wooden worm-tubs, a landmark outside the distillery as distinctive as its pagoda roofs, help this remain a spirit of real character.
Hidden depths are also apparent. Smooth-tasting Dalwhinnie yields flavours of creamy vanilla and a heather-honey sweetness, finishing in a smoky Highland glow of surprising intensity,
Dalwhinnie is the remote Highland destination on a journey around Scotland's six malt whisky regions.
The other Classic Malts are: Glenkinchie, Lowland, Cragganmore, Speyside, Talisker, Skye, Oban, West Highland and Lagavulin, Islay.

October 2005
Diageo has announced that its 2005 Annual Rare Malts Selection will be the last.

The collection will consist of four cask strenght single malts from closed distilleries; Glen Mhor 28 years old, Millburn 35 years old, Glendullan 26 years old and Linkwood 30 years old.
Dr. Nicholas Morgan, global malts marketing director commented: 'As the Special Releases are now well established, it makes less sence to continue selecting and promoting a parallel series of Rare Malts with his own separate indentity'.
In future, all premium and rare whiskies will be made available in the annual Special Re-leases series.

John Grant, George Sellar and Alexander
Mackenzie from Kingussie commence building
the facilities. The first name is Strathspey and the
construction work amounts to 10.000 Pounds
Production starts in February.
The owners encounter financial troubles after
a few months and John Somerville & Co and
A.P. Blyth & Sons take over in November
and change the name to Dalwhinnie'
The architect Charles Doig is called in to
make some improvements   
America's largest distillers, Cook &
Bernheimer in New York, buys Dalwhinnie  
for 1,250 Pounds at an auction. This marks
the first time a foreign company takes
ownership of a Scottish distillery
The administration of Dalwhinnie is placed
in the newly formed company James
Munro & Sons
Macdonald Greenlees & Williams Ltd,
headed by Sir James Calder buys
Macdonald Greenlees & Williams Ltd is
bought by Distillers Company Ltd, (D.C.L.)
which licenses Dalwhinnie to James
Buchanan & Co.
Operations are transferred to Scottish
Malt Distillers (S.M.D.)
Dalwhinnie is closed after a fire in
Dalwhinnie opens again
The maltings is decommissioned
A complete refurbishing takes place
Dalwhinnie 15 years old becomes
one of six selected malt whiskies
in United Distillers' Classic Malts
A visitor centre is constructed
Dalwhinnie closes and goes
through a major refurbishment
costing 3,2 million Pounds
Dalwhinnie reopens in March
Dalwhinnie  Distillers Edition 1980
(oloroso) is introduced for the first
time The other five in
The Classic Malts,
each with a different  finish, are
also introduced as Distillers Editions
for the first time
A 36 years old is released
A 29 years old is released
A 20 years old is released
A 25 year old is released
A Triple matured no age
is released for The Friends
of the Classic Malts
Dalwhinnie Winter's Gold
and a 25 year old are
A distillery Exclusive no age
is released
Lizzie's Dram a distillery's
exclusive is released
Dalwhinnie Winter's Frost
part of the Game of Thrones
released and a 30 year old
Special Release is launched
Capacity: 2.200.000 Ltrs
Output: 1.400.000 Ltrs

There is another distillery which goes out of its characcter of light waxiness, but the stills are run in a way to stop copper conversation and their lyne arms run into worm tubs – the classic way to produce a heavy new make character.

It is here where location also plays a role. Dalwhinnie’s ambient temperature [see below] means that the worms are naturally very cold, resulting in rapid condensing. It was here that Diageo realised the importance of this effect on the creation of sulphury new make.

In 1986, during a modernisation of the plant, the worms were removed and shell and tube condensers put in. The character changed, so in 1995 the condensers came out and worms were re-installed. Even then the character wasn’t quite the same as in the past.

A new style of worm tub: round, wooden, had been installed as they were the first thing that tourists saw when they visited the distillery [worms are traditionally at the back of a distillery, but Dalwhinnie had been constructed to face the railway line and not the A9 road]. The flow of water in the new worms was different to that in the old, cast iron tanks. It was enough to alter the character. A tweak or two and normal service was, finally, restored.

The heaviness of the sulphur means that it takes 15 years in refill casks for Dalwhinnie to emerge fully.

Given the importance to the whisky trade of the railway line which linked Inverness (and Speyside) with the central belt, it is surprising that it took until 1897 for a distillery to be built close to the settlement nearest its highest point, Dalwhinnie.

There is much made of the fact that, in Gaelic, Dalwhinnie means ‘the meeting place’ and the fact that this was the spot where three major drove roads joined. From here, huge herds of black [Highland] cattle headed south to market at Falkirk in much the same way as whisky would more than 100 years later.  

These herds were a perfect cover for whisky smugglers (tales abound of small casks being hidden under the hairy pelts of the beasts), but there is no record of whisky being made at this point. Dalwhinnie, more likely, was a place where it would have been drunk.

Three local businessmen, John Grant, George Sellar and Alexander Mackenzie, joined together to reverse this state of affairs, but their Strathspey distillery [the plant lies close to the river] failed. Its second set of owners fared little better, and in 1905 it was sold, as Dalwhinnie, to American distiller Cook & Bernheimer, making this the first Scotch distillery to be owned by a non-UK company, a relationship which ended 14 years later when blenders Macdonald Greenless took charge.

That firm then merged with DCL [now Diageo] in 1926, with the licence for Dalwhinnie being passed to James Buchanan [of Black & White fame]. In 1988 it was chosen as the Highland representative in the Classic Malts selection.

Though well connected by road and rail, Dalwhinnie’s exposed location means that it is regularly cut off in winter – it holds the dubious distinction of being the coldest settlement in the UK, with an average temperature of 6˚C.  

Alexander Mackenzie, John Grant
and George Sellar begin work on
Strathspey distillery
Production begins at Strathspey but
the trio encounter financial issues and
the site is sold to John Somerville & Co,
and AP Blyth & Sons who change the
name to Dalwhinnie
Cook and Bernheimer, at the time
America's largest distillers, buy the
distillery for just £1,250 at auction
Macdonald Greenlees & Williams
buys Dalwhinnie
The group is acquired by DCL which
licenses the distillery to James Buchanan
& Co
A fire forces the distillery to close
Not to be held back, Dalwhinnie
reopens once more
Dalwhinnie's maltings are mothballed
A thorough refurbishment sees the
installation of shell and tube condensers,
changing the new make character
The Dalwhinnie visitors' centre is
The distillery is closed for a complete
£3.2m refurbishment, only reopening
three years later
The Dalwhinnie 15 is selected as part
of the Classic Malts selection

Worm tub
Minimum 60hrs
Lightly peated
Mainly in house
Lightly peaty
Alt Ant Sluic Burn

1997 - present
United Distillers
1986 - 1997
Distillers Company Limited
1926 - 1986
Macdonald Greenlees
1919 - 1926
Cook & Bernheimer
1905 - 1919
The Blyth Family
1898 - 1905
Strathspey Distillers Ltd
1897 - 1898

They’re big, they’re expensive and they’re difficult to install and maintain. But for fans of worm tub condensers, there’s nothing quite like them for creating a spirit of complexity and character. As new distilleries rediscover their fascinations and frustrations.

Dalwhinnie worm tubs
Turn of the worm: Dalwhinnie reverted to tubs to preserve its unique spirit character
For those ancient alchemists who distilled the first spirits, distillation was like death, for it allowed the spirit to rise up and leave the body behind. However, separating the heavenly vapours was one thing; turning them back into liquid was quite another.

In the 4th century BC, Aristotle suspended balls of wool above boiling sea water to distil it and discover how clouds were formed, but that was never going to work for whisky. Later, Indian distillers used clay pots with copper heads cooled by cow dung, while those in Java preferred copper stills with tin worms, according to the Whisky Science blog.

The pipe off the lyne arm at the top of the still would have been straight, until someone had the bright idea of coiling it into a worm to improve its performance. Clearly copper was easier to mould than other metals, though it would have been expensive and required a skilled coppersmith. Illicit distillers in Scotland always sought to cling on to their worm when raided by the excisemen, even if it meant abandoning the still.

As for cooling those vapours, some would have simply submerged the worm in the local burn. A more practical solution was a barrel full of water – or worm tub as it became known.

In 1771, Christian Weigel invented a sealed condenser out of glass for laboratory use, which became the prototype for the modern, copper, shell-and-tube condenser you will find in most malt whisky distilleries today.

More efficient and compact, such a condenser is considerably cheaper than a worm with the equivalent surface area, and is easier to install. A worm may last slightly longer, but is obviously more costly to maintain.

‘They may be 100m long and there will be a lot of joints along the way,’ says Stuart Harvey, master blender at Inver House Distillers, owner of distilleries including Pulteney, Balmenach and Speyburn. ‘Detecting leaks is very difficult, and the guys have to sample the water in the tub for traces of alcohol on a regular basis.’

Worms and worm tubs clearly work, but the same was probably true of those early condoms made of sheep’s intestines. If the invention of vulcanised rubber in 1839 signified progress for prophylactics, surely it was the same for shell-and-tube condensers and whisky? Well, no – or at least not for the many fans of the humble worm.

One-third of market-leading Scotch whisky company Diageo’s malt distilleries have them, including all the original Classic Malts apart from Lagavulin – and not through any misty-eyed nostalgia. ‘It’s great to have our worm tub distilleries as part of the mix,’ says Dr Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker’s master blender.

Meanwhile, Leonard Russell, managing director of Ian Macleod Distillers, is convinced that they helped make Rosebank a truly unique whisky, and he plans to restore them having bought the distillery last October. Up on Speyside, the new Ballindalloch distillery has worms, as does Ardnahoe on Islay.

Dalwhinnie has experienced both types of condenser during its history. ‘My recollection is that it found itself needing new worm tubs in the 1980s when the whisky loch was filling up and distilleries were working a three-day week,’ says Beveridge. ‘There were a number of recently-closed distilleries, and there were one or two condensers going spare.’

It seemed like a smart, money-saving move, but ‘it would have made Dalwhinnie into more of a classic Speyside’, says Beveridge. ‘For a blending whisky that’s fine, but you wouldn’t get a robust, complex single malt.

So, in 1995, the condensers were replaced with a new set of wooden worm tubs, although, according to Beveridge: ‘It seems they lost the original plans, and had to work out how to run the new worms to create the Dalwhinnie new make character.’

He explains: ‘There are two aspects. There’s the temperature of the water in the tub, and the surface area inside the worm. Generally speaking, the higher the temperature and greater the contact with copper, the lighter and less complex the spirit will become.’

Learning how to run a successful worm is clearly harder than a modern condenser, given the variables involved. There’s the length of pipe exposed to the air before joining the worm, the ambient temperature outside, the water temperature, the rate of flow through the tub, and the fact that every worm is different.      

If ‘Diageo is the king of the worm tub,’ to quote Jim McEwan, of whom more later, then Inver House is its prince in waiting, with all but Balblair fitted with worms among its five distilleries.

Harvey had never worked with them in his previous whisky career, and remembers thinking: ‘Whoa, what’s this?!’ But he has since become a huge enthusiast for worm-powered whiskies.

‘Three of our worm tub distilleries were ex-United Distillers or DCL [later absorbed into Diageo], while Pulteney was ex-Allied Distillers,’ he explains. ‘That was quite unusual because Allied were great at ripping out worm tubs. In those days it was all about producing the lowest-cost blends, and not a lot of people were focusing on new make character.’

He continues: ‘Basically a worm keeps the sulphur compounds in the new make spirit to give you a bigger, heavier style of whisky. There are those meaty, vegetable, coal gas, sulphury notes in our new make, which is good – it’s what we want.

‘Then, with an American oak Bourbon barrel with its char layer, the sulphur compounds interact and that gives you your toffee and butterscotch in your mature whisky. So it all adds to the complexity.’

Mention of sulphur risks retribution on a biblical scale from a certain whisky writer, even if some of us like that faintly funky lick of brimstone in our dram. While that debate rages on, let’s just say there’s good and bad sulphur in Scotch whisky, with the latter often caused by running the stills too hard to allow sufficient reflux.

If so, even the shiniest shell-and-tube condenser might struggle to strip out those off notes of boiled cabbage and rotten eggs. The same would be true if you allowed some feints to slip into the middle cut, points out Jim McEwan, production director at the new Ardnahoe distillery on Islay.

‘I’ve never distilled with worms,’ says McEwan, who spent many years at Bowmore and Bruichladdich. ‘But I had this fascination with them – this snaking coil; it’s almost Egyptian-like.

‘With a shell-and-tube, the water’s fired in under pressure, whereas it’s a much gentler, slower process with an old worm tub. The condensation is slower, because you’re not pushing it, and as such the contact with the copper is intensified greatly as it meanders its way down the worm.’

Whether this will give him the purer, lighter spirit he is after is another matter. A shell-and-tube may be faster, but it contains a far greater surface area of copper, and from the experience of Harvey and others, McEwan may be disappointed – but in a good way if it adds weight and complexity to Ardnahoe’s new make character.

He will know soon enough when the new stills are fired up at Ardnahoe in a few weeks’ time. But of course the other great thing about worm tubs, steaming away on a cold winter’s night, is that they provide the lonesome distillery manager with another attractive feature: his/her very own hot tub

Scoring explained >
Single malt whisky
Fruity & Spicy
That classic, clean Dalwhinnie combination of sweet honey and delicate fruits. Dried hay and crunchy malt give substance from the off, before set heather honey and fresh citrus fruits – grapefruit, blood orange juice – add lift. There’s vanilla caramel sweetness and a generous bowl of (still crunchy) Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. A real ‘breakfast dram’.

Sweet, crunchy malt and some nuttiness. Lemon sherbets and green apple lift things up as a touch of black pepper spice sets the tongue buzzing. But there it reaches its limit; things remains pretty two-dimensional from here on, aside from the warming effect of sucking on barley sugars and cough candies.

Some Robinsons lemon barley water and hard caramel. Pretty short.

Light, inoffensive and a friend to all – much like the Starks before the Lannister fall-out.

A final family breakfast at Winterfell. They won’t be coming Home for a while.
Terug naar de inhoud