Scotland Feed

Last week I visited my 50th distillery/blending house at the Isle of Jura. What made it extra special is that we hit it at 1:30 in the morning. Though the Isle of Jura is closer to mainland Scotland than Islay, to reach it you take either a plane or ferry to Islay then another quick ferry to Jura. (Jura is the red dot on the map below. Islay is the island to its left.) (Map produced using Google Maps.) Jura has far fewer inhabitants than Islay- I think around 200 compared with Islay's 3500- and just one distillery compared with... Read more →

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

The last time I was in Glasgow Scotland, actually just a month ago, I hit all the cocktail bars I meant to except one. I returned to Glasgow on another scotch trip last week (I know!), this time with Isle of Jura and The Dalmore, and luckily I got a second chance. The bar is at the Blythswood Square Hotel and I think was previously a Royal Air Force club of some sorts. The bar program is directed by Head Bartender Mal Spence. Spence was previously in Edinburgh and hired his own staff locally and from Edinburgh to work here.... Read more →

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

No, I'm not 50 years old, but I visited my 50th distillery/blending house here in Scotland at the Isle of Jura distillery. I'm lucky to have seen so many places around the world and look forward to seeing many more. I'll post more information about the trip later, but here's the glamour (note European spelling) shot. Read more →

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

After my visit to the Bowmore and Auchentoshan distilleries, our group stopped by the headquarters of their parent company, Morrison Bowmore. (This company is in turned owned by Suntory, and is distributed in the United States by Skyy Spirits.) There we met with Senior Blender Iain McCallum, who is sort of a legend even though he’s less than 40 years old. He's engaging, fast, fun, and smart as heck. If given the opportunity to attend an event he hosts, I highly recommend it. (If given the opportunity to go out drinking with him afterward, I recommend that too even though... Read more →

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

On the last day of my trip to Scotland with Bowmore, we went to another distillery, Auchentoshan. This distillery is located just outside of Glasgow, on a former estate. Auchentoshan is in the Lowland region of Scotland, one of just five single-malt-producing distilleries there. It’s also unique as the only scotch distillery that triple distills all of its whisky. This gives it a lighter flavor profile than most single malts, and a thinner body/mouthfeel. This makes it both an entry-level whisky for drinkers new to the category, and one that can be easily mixed into cocktails. Scotch whisky distilleries usually... Read more →

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

The malting and distillation are only the first two weeks in the life of a scotch whisky: the aging time in barrels is where the liquid spends the vast majority of its existence- and where it gains much of its flavor. In this post we look at the potential influence of place in scotch whisky, learned on a recent trip to Islay, Scotland. Read more →

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

Hello from Islay! I'm in Scotland on a trip with Bowmore. After a first night of bar exploration and jetlag adaptation in Glasgow, I was ready for the press trip to begin. I spent the morning blogging about the previous night, then had a day to explore Glasgow. I can't say I learned a ton about the city, except that I love the look of Glasgow University and had a great time exploring the Kelvingrove museum. By the next morning I'd met up with the rest of the group and we flew together to Islay. To get there by car/bus... Read more →

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

The Blue Dog, as three different people told me, is "the place where everyone ends up," as it's open until three in the morning. I got there a little before 1AM on Saturday night and it was jammed. The long bar had five or six bartenders working at the same time. The cocktail menu didn't look terribly appealing to me with the exception of a couple drinks. After a short and understandable wait, I ordered a Spruce Moose, which calls for Rittenhouse rye, calvados, maple syrup, and orange bitters. Despite the crowd, the bartender took his time and made it... Read more →

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