Sunday, May 27, 2007


FOUR souls took the search for a perfect dram to the town of honest men and bonnie lasses on Saturday – and enjoyed a selection of very fine whiskies in the company of old friends and new pals. Ken and Maggie met up with Mike and me at Robbie’s Drams before heading to the Carnegie Library where the event was taking place. Some of the library’s shelves had been cleared to house the whisky that was on sale after a tasting and it did seem to be a slightly better use of the space. Event organiser Robin Russell, pictured here with Provost Winifred Sloan, dedicated the festival to his father-in-law, a keen whisky drinker, who died very recently

Friends included Matt Edwards from Isle of Arran Distillery, who poured a generous dram of the Robert Burns Malt. Next up was Kate from Springbank where we tasted the Longbow 10, the Springbank 15 and the Springbank done in the Marsala cask. This nine year old, at 58%, was delicious, and the beginning of some bery fine whiskies throughout the afternoon.

We could hardly ignore our friends and sponsors at Inver House, and master distiller Stuart Harvey was very generous with the new Balblair vintages – the 97, 89, and 79. We tasted these for a Herald supplement a few weeks ago and they were as delicious on Saturday as they had been then.

It would have been churlish to ignore the Glenfarclas stand next to Stuart and we got talking to the man pouring the drams who turned out to be Robert Ransom. Ken and I have both been in touch with him regarding a future tasting and it was a perfect opportunity to try some of them before recommending them to club members. We tried the 10, 21 and 30 – the one Robert recommended for the day after your daughter’s wedding, when a contemplative dram was rich reward for seeing her set out on a new direction. At £110 a bottle, I’d need to have more than one daughter to justify it, but after a few sips, I saw his point.

Your humble scribe, Maggie and Mike drifted away and heading for Douglas Laing’s Old Malt Cask stall where a simply intoxicating Port Ellen was generously offered. The Old Malt Cask series is the mid-range of this independent bottler’s offering, sitting above the Provenance bottlings but beneath the Platinum of which the brothers Laing are justifiably proud.

A big thank you to Robin Russell of Robbie‘s Drams who made us feel very welcome. He is a keen and enthusiastic ambassador of whisky and next year plans to take over the Town Hall for an even bigger event.

Shame so few of the Club could make it to this year's.

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