Rosemary's Blog

Journeying with Jura

I almost got to Jura! How many of us whisky lovers can say that when we’ve made it to Islay and looked across the Sound to the Paps, the distinctive breast-like mountains that announce Jura’s presence in the Inner Hebrides? Of course, three might be a strange number of paps unless, like me, you are something of a Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy fan. If you are not, you’ll have no idea what I am talking about...

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Navigator from Old Pulteney, a Highland single malt

A visit to Old Pulteney in 2014 afforded me my first sip of Navigator. It was the stand out dram for me from my tasting in the wood lined, cosy distillery shop in Wick, a remarkable contrast to the grey of the town and the black of the distillery wharehousing. Light and bright, even on a November day, I immediately found this NAS (non-age statement, the whisky equivalent to non-vintage) accessible and, in a strange sort of way, fun! Not too challenging, complex enough to be interesting and full of beguiling flavour, it quickly became, and remains, a favourite in my collection.

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GlenDronach The Parliament 21yo Speyside Highland Single Malt

“OK Matthew, I am going to buy one bottle of whisky from you, what should it be?” A risky question to ask the manger of any shop but I had had such fun tasting and sharing whisky thoughts with Matthew of The Good Spirits Company in Glasgow that I wanted a bottle from the shelves of his recommendation to take with me. His choice was GlenDronach's 15yo The Revival, and so began my fascination with this leading modern Speyside distillery. You can read more about The Revival in this very early whisky blog.

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Oak Cross from Compass Box - my perfect glamping dram

I love being outside in the fresh air but my idea of camping these days is definitely glamping with a comfy bed, cotton sheets and a well equipped camp kitchen, all there and at the ready for us when we arrive. My biggest worry on our latest glamping trip was which whisky to take with me? It had to be something classy, complex and reflective and Oak Cross proved to be a perfect choice.

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Drinking a distillery - a tasting of BenRiach

Whisky, to me, is all about sharing - a discovery, a memory, a story, a sense of place and of time. It's about terroir - but that is still a cheese or wine word and one which is not so common in the drammer's  vocabulary. Now, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, the sharing part of whisky is one reason that I am often a little dismissive of 50ml sample bottles that arrive in the post. How can I share them with my Chichester Whisky Women? Now I am definitely going to change my tune as I have throughly enjoyed a brief journey through 3 of the expressions from the excellent BenRiach. This distillery company has been in the entrepreneurial hands of whisky whizz Billy Walker since 2004, winning the Whisky Distiller of the Year Award in 2009, and Global Whisky Distiller of the Year in 2015. Two huge awards proving the know-how of the managing team who also own GlenDronach, another Speyside favourite of mine. 

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Flaming Heart from Compass Box

I hope that this isn’t going to happen but my bank balance would be better if I didn’t receive samples from Compass Box! I first tasted their whiskies when they were a very young company and I have been consistently delighted by their boutique blends ever since. They transport the drinker to an adventure of complexity and satisfaction that is seldom achieved from an affordable single malt.

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