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Grant’s 1912 Stand Fast Whisky

by Cat Spencer     12. June 2012 16:05

In proper Indiana Jones-style, the lads at Grant’s have uncovered an ancient text (not the Book of the Dead) explaining exactly what William Grant had at his disposal in 1912 to create Stand Fast. Not to be outdone, they have taken it upon themselves to recreate Stand Fast—as much to a T as possible—exactly one hundred years later, to the day.

Blending has been a treasured and almost mystical art form for centuries, with master blenders handing down recipes verbally to apprentices like secretive sorcerers imparting wisdom to only their most promising pupils. With only six master blenders in its 135-year history, Grant’s hasn’t had too many sorcerers sharing information. So, the discovery of a whisky book is a magical one, indeed.

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Feis Ile 2012, Day 8

by Cat Spencer     3. June 2012 17:56

We've lost Gareth. Poor chap had to leave on a jet plane early this morning and miss this day of wonderful days…drumroll please…

Ardbeg Day! Yes, my malty children, it was the day of Ardbeg, and after a long and luxurious lie in, we were fed a lovely fry up by Mr Ben and then lickety-split, back in the Malt Mobile to rush across the island and not miss all the festivities.

For on this day, Ardbeg held their very own Islay-lympics complete with discus throwing and sheep tossing. We began the day with a nip of the Feis Ile special bottling from Ardbeg, the aptly named: Arbeg Day (Release the Peat!).

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Feis Ile 2012, Day 7

by Cat Spencer     1. June 2012 20:57

Onward Malting solidiers! Marching as to…more drams. So many drams… We’ve done it again, we have! Had the bespectacled lads over from Cask Strength last night for ribs and more ribs. Ridley wasted no time in donning a dressing gown and topped off this debonair look with a martini. We soon all followed suit (swimsuit, that is).

Mr Ellefsen had once again outdone himself on the food and drinks front, so when my alarm sounded at 6 this morning, I was not a happy camper. Alas, we had to depart the beautiful and luxurious Al Linnean cottage by 10 AM, so an early start to pack, clean, and load the car was a necessity.

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Feis Ile 2012, Day 6

by Gareth     1. June 2012 13:37

Thursday was Jura Day. It started far too early for any of our liking, and lack of sleep is beginning to play heavily on people’s sanity; that and the midges.

We left in a hurry to catch the ferry at 8.30am, at the other side of the Island. You know, over there. 

It is not a long journey. In fact we reached Jura in about 4 and-a-half minutes, the malt mobile rolling off the boat and onto the rugged shore.Force of habit made us reach for the sat nav, to aid us in our navigation of the Island’s one, single track road. We were going the right way. 

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Feis Ile 2012, Day 5

by Gareth & Cat     31. May 2012 15:24

The clouds have rolled in. I blame the boys from Cask Strength who arrived yesterday and surely brought the cold and fog with them.

After last night’s pass out fest on the sofa, we were all up early (relatively) in order to arrive on time (relatively) to TWO (count them) two tastings: Bowmore at 11.30 and Kilchoman at high noon. After prepping another massive breakfast, Chef de mission Ben fired up the Malt Mobile for another high-speed tour through farm fields and past stretching coast line.

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Feis Ile 2012, Day 4

by Cat Spencer     29. May 2012 21:29

Wellity, wellity, wellity…as you may have read yesterday, our day began with the Balvenie Boys driving the Malt Mobile away from the Master of Malt cottage at 6.30am with minimal protest from me. It shall surely end with a dip in the hot tub.

Our day officially began at around 10am, with Ben rousing us by shouting, ‘wake up!’ all throughout the house. I did not find this pleasing. Justin had spent the early morning hours hoovering some foxy midges that had managed to creep their way into his bedroom, but didn’t seem to worse for the wear. More...

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Feis Ile 2012, Day 3

by Cat Spencer     29. May 2012 11:46

I’ll begin from the end and work backwards today as Balvenie has done a number on my brain and it’s the only way I can recollect the events preceding this moment.

I recall at half past six this morning, I watched as the Balvenie brand ambassadors drove away with the Malt Mobile. I apparently did not protest enough at the claim that ‘Ben said it was ok.’

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Feis Ile 2012, Day 2

by Cat Spencer     28. May 2012 08:22

Having survived the wilds of Edinburgh and a skin-of-our-teeth race for the last ferry to Islay from Kennacraig, we found ourselves settled in to our exquisite cottage on Islay quite nicely. A little too nicely.

We began the day with rare and glorious sunshine, savoury crepes for breakfast, and the promise of an exceptionally brilliant day. After a bit of admin work (you can’t keep a nerd from his computer), we were on our way in the trusty Malt Mobile—now sullied with the carcasses of many an insect— to the Bruichladdich open day.

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Feis Ile 2012, Day 1

by Gareth     27. May 2012 11:02

I woke up, and removed myself from bed with the cautiousness of a man who has just undergone complicated surgery.

Unbelievable. Despite my memory rendering the last few hours in similar detail to a five year old’s picture of the Sistine Chapel, I was all right. Praise be indeed!

I congratulated myself on my iron constitution. Today would be a day of winding Highland roads and tight schedules. Not a day to be under the weather.

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Feis Ile 2012, Day 0

by Gareth     27. May 2012 00:08

It all started so well. The Master of Malt Mobile was pimped, packed with drams and a simply outrageous selection of fine booze, and we were ready to go by 9.30am… not bad going I think you’ll agree.

We’ll be doing a bit of entertaining in Islay, so we packed our entire range of Vintage Cocktails, a selection of whisky and a few special bottles including Glenfarclas Cognac Cask, a single cask Ardbeg 1993 (more on this in coming weeks – yes – it’s going to be a new bottling from MoM), and a 28-year-old Port Ellen.

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