Scotch whisky visitor numbers hit record high!

Love visiting distilleries? So does everyone, it would seem! The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has crunched the numbers and it turns out we collectively made a record 1.9 million visits to Scotland’s whisky distilleries in 2017!

1.9 million people is the equivalent of the entire population of Latvia, or of Guinea Bissau. Or the same as everyone in Cyprus visiting a distillery twice. It’s also an 11.4% rise year-on-year, and a figure 45% higher than 2010’s visitor numbers. That’s a hefty increase.

And it also puts whisky distilleries squarely on the tourism road map. The National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Castle are the top attractions outside London, and they both attracted 2 million visitors each in 2017. The distilleries are catching up!
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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The Nightcap: 6 July

Happy Friday, team! Summer is ON (at least here in the UK) and there’s a certain football match on the agenda tomorrow… But before that comes around, it’s time to get an update from the world of booze. Bring on The Nightcap!

This week brought with it a new month as well as a whole new cohort of booze goings on – and of course a new Dram Club box for our subscribers, too! We took a sneak peek inside those packs of tastiness on Sunday.

On Monday we looked back to Fèis Ìle 2018 when Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills shared his plans for the distillery expansion project, and got part three of Annie’s Bourbon Series – this time it was Rob Samuels from Maker’s Mark in the spotlight.

The Glencairn glass has become synonymous with spirits (whisky in particular), and on Tuesday we met the family behind the business. Sales are soaring – it seems we can’t get enough fancy glassware to hold our boozes!
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Categories : American Whiskey, Cocktails, Cognac, Gin, News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky, World Whisky
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Annandale Distillery Scotch whisky comes of age!

The only thing more exciting than a new distillery is a new distillery’s first whisky coming of age! We popped over the border into Scotland to meet the Annandale Distillery team on a very special day…

What a difference a century makes. It’s 1918, and the Annandale Distillery, a historical Johnnie Walker production site, has just produced its final drop of spirit. Founded way back in 1836, the distillery is about to fall into disrepair, then dereliction. Located just 10 miles or so from the English border, what once made Annandale a convenient alternative to Island whiskies for blenders has seen it forgotten as other routes opened up. The distillery will soon be picked apart for salvage, its stills shipped off to Speyside. It’s a bleak scene.

Until David Thomson and Teresa Church come along. Fast forward to 2007 and the pair buy the dilapidated distillery, all crumbled stone and sylvan, sinuous weeds. Thomson grew up in nearby Dumfries and, buoyed by a passion for single malts and a background in sensory science, sets about the restoration project alongside Church.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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John Crabbie & Co 2.0: Edinburgh’s son returns to whisky distilling

Five months after resurrecting the historic John Crabbie & Co. whisky brand with the launch of two single malts, Halewood International revealed plans for an Edinburgh distillery – the old stomping ground of Crabbie himself. Despite his Scotch kudos, surprisingly little is known about this influential character. MoM delves into the past, present and future of Crabbie Whisky…

When Halewood announced plans to invest more than £7 million in a new Crabbie distillery in Leith, industry ears pricked up. Though best known for its green ginger wine and ginger beers, the brand’s roots lie in whisky: it was founded a few short years after Blair Athol and Highland Park. Now, it’s the third contender in a race to build the first new distillery in Edinburgh for almost 100 years.

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Categories : News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Happy 120th birthday, Glen Moray! Part 1: The innovator

Last week we travelled up to Speyside to join Elgin-based distillery Glen Moray for its 120th birthday celebrations. But far from looking backwards, we discovered a disruptively modern trailblazer with a whole host of unexpected developments going on behind the scenes…

1897: William McKinley became the 25th US president. Horror classic Dracula by Bram Stoker was published. The UK got its first-ever official bus service. And the Glen Moray distillery fired up its stills for the very first time.

Booze-making on the site can actually be traced back to 1830: before the first stills arrived, the land, tucked in on the edge of Elgin, was home to the Elgin West Brewery. The first spirit ran on 13 September 1897, and from day one the distillery’s made use of some pretty unusual casks – more on that later. Exactly 120 years after that first distillation we retraced the founders’ steps through the distillery, and then partied in style…
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Raise a glass! Scotch whisky distilleries attract more visitors than ever

An incredible 1.7 million of us headed to Scotch whisky distilleries in 2017 – were you one of the growing numbers of whisky tourists?

Checking out a Scotch whisky distillery in the flesh is the dream of many – and more of us than ever are making a journey to Speyside, Islay, the Highlands and/or beyond. Over 1.7 million people checked into a Scotch distillery in 2016 – that’s an impressive 8% year-on-year increase.

Even more excitingly, over half of the 123 distilleries across Scotland now welcome members of the public – a thrilling figure if, like us, stillhouses and maturation warehouses rank as highly as far-flung beaches when it comes to dream holiday destinations.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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