Al Fresco - 20th June 2015

I really enjoy this tasting, at this time of year there is nothing better than enjoying an evening dram outside in the fresh air – well perhaps enjoying a Dram in the fresh air with friends.


The Whiskies

 The Line Up

Teaninich 2006 – Connoisseurs Choice – 46% 

  • Founded in 1817 by the estate owner Captain Hugh Monro. Situated in Northern Highlands at Alness.
  • Today it is owned by Diageo and is a vital part of Johnny Walker blends.
  • Last year they doubled the number of stills from six to twelve and added eight new washbacks, to make 18 in total to double production to 9.8 m litres a year.
  • This bottling is from Gordon and MacPhails Connoisseurs Choice range distilled 2006.


Royal Lochnagar 12 y/o – 40%

  • This distillery is situated on Deeside close to Balmoral Castle. The current distillery was built by John Begg in 1845 on the south bank of the Dee. Begg had owned a distillery on the other side of the river which was destroyed by fire in 1841.
  • Lochnagar gained a Royal Warrant in 1848 after Begg had invited and entertained Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at his new distillery.
  • They still provide single malt to Balmoral, in fact the Queen (current one Queen Elizabeth II) gave a bottle to Pope Francis in April last year when she visited him.
  • Royal Lochnagar is owned by Diageo but is their smallest distillery producing 500,000 litres a year.
  • One pair of stills and worm tubs not condensers. Should be a heavy whisky, but its relatively light bodied.

Guests 1 

Stronachie  18 y/o – 46%

  • Stronachie distillery was founded in the 1890’s, but closed in 1928
  • The Agents for the distillery were A D Rattray – founded by Andrew Dewar Rattray in 1868 the company were wine, spirit, tea, & coffee merchants in Glasgow.
  • The Rattray family are related to the Morrison’s of Morrison Bowmore fame, today A D Rattray is run by Tim Morrison.
  • Back to the whisky, there are supposedly only 4 bottles of Stronachie still in existence, Tim managed to buy a bottle at Auction from 1904. A sample was taken and 1000’s of casks tried to find a match, so the whisky could be replicated.
  • Tim decided on this whisky from Benrinnes Distillery.
  • I like this because it’s a relatively inexpensive 18 year old.



Edradour 10 y/o – 40%

  • I always think of this as a summer whisky, we seem to sell more in summer, and I’ve visited Edradour a couple of times in the summer.
  • Owned by Andrew Symington & his company Signatory Vintage – who brought it in July 2002 from Pernod Richard for £5.4m.
  • It’s a debatable point as to whether this is Scotland’s smallest distillery – produces 130,000 ltrs a year, I always think of it as Scotland’s Smallest Serious distillery , any smaller are certainly very new.
  • Edradour is a proper farm distillery – it would have originally been part of a farm, the excess barley being used to make whisky.
  • Officially founded in 1825, but most likely started before then just taking out a licence in 1825.
  • The distillery has a lot of older equipment, defiantly not hi tech. Andrew spends most of his days fixing the machines.
  • This 10 year old is quite big and deep – small stills give a more complex spirit, they also use sherry casks


The HostBalvenie 14 Caribbean cask – 43%


  • Balvenie distillery is at Dufftown – founded in 1892 by William Grant.
  • William Grant Ltd have the biggest family owned whisky business in the world, and they are the 3rd biggest producer of Scotch whisky. Both grain and malt and Irish.
  • Their distilleries are Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Kininvie, Ailsa Bay, Girvan (Grain) and Tullamore (Irish).
  • This bottling a 14 year old – has spent the last part its maturation in Caribbean Rum Casks. Originally designed by David Stewart – Balvenie’s Malt Master with 50 years’ experience  – The whisky is matured in Oak Casks for 14 years then transferred to American Oak casks which are Grants own casks filled with Carabbean Rum chosen by David.
  • Gives delicate fresh spicy fruity.


Ardbeg Uigeadail – 57.4%

  • Ardbeg an Iconic whisky from a legendary island.
  • This is from the Isle of Islay – Peaty, smokey, maritime  but also fruity and rich.
  • In it’s past Ardbeg has been closed, mothballed, suggested for demolition, run part time stuck together with chewing gum and string, since it was brought by Glenmorangie in 1997 it has gone from strength to strength.
  • This bottling uses whiskies from different casks – some of the whisky is older whisky matured in sherry casks, some of the whisky is newer, matured in White American oak ex-bourbon casks.
  • Rich fruity, fruitcakey flavours from the European casks, peaty Smokey whisky with more barley influence from the Bourbon Casks.
  • The Guests 2