Scotland Feed

In my search for information about water sources used for various spirits as part of the Water Project, I came across Uisge Source, a company that bottles waters from different regions in Scotland. The waters from Speyside, Islay, and the Highlands are meant to be representative of the waters used by distillers in those regions to make scotch; for dilution of drinks in the bourbon-and-branch style. As I learned in the book Whisky on the Rocks, even distilleries next to each other may have different water sources, so it shouldn't be assumed that all the distilleries in an area use... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

I attended Whiskies of the World in San Francisco this April and made a few discoveries. Here are some notes. Tasting Highlights: Exclusive Malts (and independent bottler new to the US) Littlemill 1988 24 year old was terrific. Mezcalero mezcal batch #7, which will be out soon, uses three different agaves. It is delicious. Gordon and MacPhail Old Puteney 21 Year Old was terrific, and Old Pulteney's own 21 and 30 year old expressions were a treat as always. Samaroli is an Italian independent bottler of both rare rums and scotch whiskies. I tied a Bunnahabhain and a Caol Ila... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

In my studies of water in spirits and cocktails, I picked up the book Whisky on the Rocks: Origins of the 'Water of Life' by Stephen and Julie Cribb. The book is about the geography of Scotland and how that influences the water sources for scotch whisky. It turns out Scotland's geology is pretty varied between very old (2900 million years) and new (60 million years), with large faults that divide the country into different areas, rift valleys, metamorphosed Dalradian rocks, schists, volcanic islands, and more. I don't know what most of those words mean either. Distilleries in Scotland draw... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

As I mentioned in a post about my visit to Laphraoig, only a few scotch whisky distilleries do their own malting. Floor malting is the historic technique of preparing barley for fermentation; turning it into malted barley. Most of the 100 distilleries in Scotland purchase malted barley from commercial malting plants, and most (all?) of the distilleries that do floor malting also purchase additional malt from commercial malters. Read more about floor maltings here. Today I just read about another scotch whisky distillery re-starting their floor malting, so I thought it would be good to create a list. Distilleries that... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

In June I took a short trip to Islay, Scotland to see how Laphroaig single-malt scotch whisky is made. Islay is an island off the coast of Scotland known for its smoky, peaty whiskies. What Laphroaig does differently from other scotch producers, as you'll read, is: Floor maltings Separation of malt flavoring (with peat smoke) and malt drying An uneven number of pot stills Quarter Casks Floor Malting Laphroaig is one of six scotch makers that floor malts some of its own barley. Floor malting is the historic technique of preparing barley for fermentation. Most of the 100 distilleries in... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

In tomorrow's post I'll share technical details about how Laphroaig single-malt scotch whisky is made, but how about today we just look at some pretty pictures of Islay, Scotland? Most of these were taken in Port Ellen, not far from the Laphroaig distillery. Port Ellen Hotel, Where I Stayed The big blue building is a grain silo for the Port Ellen maltings Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Last week I visited the Isle of Jura, The Dalmore, and Fettercairn distilleries in Scotland. These brands are all owned by White & Mackay. This post is about visiting the Fettercairn distillery. (Fettercairn marked with red pin. Map made with Google Maps) From The Dalmore distillery we went on yet another gorgeous drive over two mountain ranges to reach Fettercairn, a distillery named after the town where it is located. As you can see on the map below, after you come down from the mountains where much of the vegetation is heather (brown at this time of year) like low... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Last week I visited the Isle of Jura, The Dalmore, and Fettercairn distilleries in Scotland. These brands are all owned by White & Mackay. This post is about visiting The Dalmore distillery. (The Dalmore distillery indicated by red dot. Map from Google Maps.) From Jura, we took a boat to the mainland and then drove diagonally northeast to reach The Dalmore. It was a long and gorgeous drive into the Highlands that took the better part of a day. (The Dalmore distillery) There are many things that make up the final flavor profile of a single-malt scotch, including the variety... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.