Fèis Ìle – The Islay Whisky Festival 2015

Feis Ile Islay That Boutique-y Whisky Company

As some of you may already know, we’re sadly not going to be at Fèis Ìle this year. I know, I know. We had a good run though – attending the last four years in a row as Master of Malt, keeping you all (hopefully) entertained whether you’d made it along or not, running some great promotions and even kitting many of you out with some top notch drams, t-shirts and snazzy tote bags. And it was our absolute pleasure to do so.

There’ll be no Malt Mobile to look out for this year though (much to the delight of Bowmore’s bollards), no gratuitous shots of limited edition whiskies next to hot tubs or Port Ellen tastings and no week long series of our ramblings from the event. But if you are indeed going, especially if it’s your first time, allow us to present our little guide to this year’s festival…

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Categories : News, Whisky
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Coastal Whisky: The Curious Relationship Between Whisky and the Seas

Coastal Whisky Bowmore

Some whiskies can be said to have a ‘coastal’ or ‘maritime’ character, and invariably these are also whiskies that I absolutely love. In fact, these seaside malts are the reason I became interested in whisky in the first place, and the very best examples are still probably my favourite spirits in the world. This is personal taste, of course, and whilst I love most of the gods’ rich tapestry of whisky flavour profiles, I just happen to be a sucker for the Neptunian ones. So, consider me your Neil Oliver as we embark on a journey of discovery and also consider exactly how is it that some malts seemingly take on the very taste of the coast. This, is whisky on the edge… *Cue music*

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Categories : Whisky
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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle – Bowmore Day & Gartbreck

Tales From The Isle Bowmore Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In today’s Tales From The Isle I’d planned to bring you the story of the devil’s final visit to Bowmore in some detail, but an action-packed day at Fèis Ìle means that this issue has rather taken on a life of its own! The story is still worth telling, however, if only in brief. The famous round church in Bowmore, constructed ten years before the distillery was established, is said to be round so that the devil had no corners to hide in. According to legend, the architectural trap worked so well that when he did finally pop by in 1837 he was instantly spotted and pursued down the road by an angry Christian mob. Entering the distillery buildings, he made his escape by hiding within a cask of whisky that was being loaded onto the Maid of Islay for transport to the mainland. It’s said that he never dared to return.

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Categories : Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle – Laphroaig Day & iPed 2014

Tales From The Isle Laphroaig Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

They say that the devil no longer visits Islay, which is why one policeman is sufficient for a population of thousands. We’ll be taking a closer look at exactly why Satan might be staying away from the isle tomorrow, but just because the lord of darkness is absent, that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily safe from the horrors of hell!

Laphroaig, of course, is a distillery that’s seen its fair share of horror with former owner and co-founder Donald Johnston having fallen into a vat of raging hot spent lees in 1847! That’s ten whole years after the devil’s supposed final visit and poor old Donald tragically died from his injuries shortly after.

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Categories : Competitions, News, Old, Rare, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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For Christmas this year…

Dear Santa

With plans to make Christmas 2013 closely resemble a night out with Charles Bukowski during his downtime, I’ve been thinking hard about what booze I want. Historically, I would have written to Santa Claus, but I recently read a thought-provoking essay by biologist Dickie Dawkins and now no longer believe in his existence. This, then, is an open letter to anyone who knows me and wants to get me the boozes.

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Categories : Blended, Whisky
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New Boutique-y Whiskies; Allt-á-Bhainne, Glen Keith, and Miltonduff

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Miltonduff, Glen Keith and Allt-a-Bhainne

Well it’s certainly been quite a while since we put out any new Boutique-y whiskies. Over 3 months in fact. Erm. Sorry about that. Will try and be more hyperactive in the future. Promise.

After a clutch of slightly more esoteric ideas in the last set of releases, we’re coming firmly back to the ‘whisky world’ with these three, each one featuring some of our compadres from the geeky, obsessive, and at times slightly worrying world we all inhabit.

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Categories : Competitions, News, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Dramboree: A Whisky Weekend in Scotland! (Part 2)

dramboree glass whisky weekend 2013

Following a fine Friday evening at Dramboree (see Part 1 of my Executive report), an entire day of whisky fun still lay ahead! I give you… Part Deux.

After a hearty breakfast we set off for Aberfeldy distillery, our first port of call with tastings from Springbank’s Melanie Stranger and the guys from Whisky Lounge to look forward to later on (not to mention that Whisky Table!) all organised by our fantastic hosts Jonny McMillan and Jason B. Standing. There would also be a barbecue courtesy of Master of Malt (that’s us!).

Plenty to look forward to then as we set off on a short stroll down to the home of Dewar’s blend and Aberfeldy single malt Scotch whisky.

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Feis Ile 2013: The Islay Whisky Roundup!

Feis Ile 2013 map

It’s fair to say that Feis Ile aka That Boutique-y Whisky Company On Tour 2013 was a rip-roaring success! Enjoyment was had by all, 3 fantastic Competitions were run and entered into with rabid enthusiasm. And nobody died, either! Great success.

From our Distillery Dog Peaty getting lost (and getting found again) to our Message in a Bottle Islay Treasure Hunt, to loads of you literally flagging us down with the signal, you (yes, you) all made this our best Fèis Ìle yet! We’re already hard at work planning next year’s shenannigans…

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Categories : Cocktails, Competitions, News, Review, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Feis Ile 2013: Day 5 (Bowmore) – Message in Bottle Winners & Flaming Bows

Bart back to the future

It seems that everywhere we’ve gone this week people have been talking about one thing in particular: the mysterious bottles that have washed up on the shores of Islay containing messages written by “Doc” Emmett L. Brown way back in 1859!

This was, as you may know unless you’ve been living under a rock (you do read all my blogs with avid enthusiasm, right?), part of our third competition for Feis Ile 2013. Everybody who found a bottle was told to meet at the clock tower at Laphroaig distillery at 12 noon on Wednesday 29th May 2013 – their prize for doing so was a full bottle of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s brand new Caol Ila (worth £54.95) AND the chance to feature on our next cultish comic book-style label!

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Categories : Cocktails
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Feis Ile 2013: Day 4 (Laphroaig) – Cairdeas-ing Fairies

Link and Navi

“I want to go on a fairy hunt”, I proclaimed. No, I hadn’t had some inexplicable bout of homophobia (although judging by the reaction I seemed to provoke, this is presumably how it came across).

Fairies or ‘little people’ as they are also known (it is actually bad luck to refer to them as ‘fairies’ or ‘faeries’ in some places) are common throughout Gaelic folklore. They’re not tiny little butterfly-winged creatures either, but rather can be up to a few feet tall with the potential to also shapeshift. Tricksy and sometimes mischievous (starting to sound a bit like Loki) they are to be respected, if only with a healthy slice of whimsy.

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