Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Mar. 29.


Whisky for Girls hosted a LOVE WHISKY TASTING in Colonsay for Grace & Keir of ‘THE DRESS’ fame, and their wedding guests.

Grace & Keir (1024x681)

That night, there was no hint of the ensuing media tumult  ~  ‘was ‘THE DRESS’ worn to the wedding by Grace’s Mum, white and gold, or was it blue and black?’ they were only concerned with the drams they were about to taste…..

Two things I can tell you ~ 

1)  The drams we tried were GOLD 

2) The Dress is blue and black!

This future furore aside, we had one of the best tastings ever. It was so informal and so much fun.

Many of the guests had never tasted whisky before ~ but, said they will drink it in future…..!

The drams we had were:


50% abv  with no age. A pale summer sun in colour.  This is a young, fresh, light dram. A lunchtime or early afternoon dram. No peat in the Bruichladdich range. A bit citrus, slightly malty, oranges. Very soft. Only in Bourbon cask.  Another time it would be good to try the Scottish, Bere & Islay Barley whiskies all at same time and taste the subtle differences. Short Finish.


46.3% abv, a fruity, nutty dram. More oily than the Bruichladdich with a tiny edge of smokey brine. Fruitcake, fudge and a hint of Christmas tangerines. Sweet and warm. This would be a late afternoon dram. Medium Finish.


54.2% abv luscious, raisiny, smokey. A mix of new bourbon and old sherry casks. The sherry casks used to be the old Ardbeg ones from the past, but they are getting younger now. This dram is heavier and ‘meatier’ than the first two. Honey, treacle, walnuts, pine needles. It feels like you can chew it! Longer Finish.


46% abv A vatting of 5 & 6 YO bourbon & Oloroso sherry casks. Vatting means the malt whisky from these casks has been poured together, then bottled. It tastes summery and peaty with fruitiness and vanilla tones. The length of the finish is in between the Bunnahabhain and the Uigeadail.


40% abv This is a very interesting dram. It has been created by Laphroaig to be an introduction to it’s own style.  It is Laphroaig without the strong character. Think of ‘Rocky’ in his youth, and think of him now…… this is the difference between Laphroaig and Laphroaig Select. Everyone is making whisky like this now. We have Bowmore Small Batch, Glenrothes Vintage Reserve. And the interesting thing is that they say the customers chose it! I am sorry that customers want to dumb down the character of Laphroaig. But if you approach it as a whisky in it’s own right, it is a palatable, smokey, peatey dram that is sweet. It has a finish about the length of the Bunnahabhain, and would be an early evening dram.

 The favourite dram of the evening was the Ardbeg Uigeadail.

Whisky for Girls wish Grace & Keir all the best for their life together.

A shared love of whisky is a good bond for any couple to have!



Just to test you ~ before and after your next dram, checkout ‘the dress’ and tell us what colours you see……

The Dress

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Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Mar. 22.


I love Ardnamurchan. Walking up from the pier at Kilchoan a man offered me a lift.

John & Jacqui (1024x931)Lighthouse gubbins (1024x681)Ardnamurachan Light

A perfect stranger, named John Chapple, took me to the most Western point of mainland Scotland, to see the ’Egyptian Light’, the Ardnmurchan Lighthouse.  The picture on the left shows the old machinery for working the light and the foghorn.

The Ardnamurchan Peninsula feels open and free, with rolling, tightly packed small hills, and the beautiful golden sands of Sanna Bay. The sky is big and far above. The colour is pale blue and you think you can see forever.  Ribboning road floats over heather and stone, and it seems much further away to Fort William than  geographically it is. 

On way to distillery 2 (1024x681)ardnamurchan (1024x681)Ardnamurchan  (1024x681)

In Gaelic, Ard na murchan means High Point of the Great Sea. Most Gaelic place names describe landform in context.

 Ardnamurchan Distillery is at Glenbeg, on the estate of Donald Huston.  Tucked below an encircling hill, it faces the sea. It is powered by a wood chip boiler, the timber being felled from trees on the estate.

Wood Chip Screw (1024x892)Filling Store (1024x681)wood chip boiler (681x1024)

Their water source travels through peat to get to the distillery, they use the same water when filling the casks to 63.5% abv, as they do when making spirit.

They intend to implement their own floor maltings, they are organising the kiln just now ~ March 2015.  They have a small copper topped mash tun, and a mixture of wooden & stainless steel washbacks. The wort is cooled to 18* for wooden wash backs & 21* for stainless steel. The wooden wasbacks are made from Cognac Oak.

Malt Floors (1024x681)wooden & stainless washbaks (1024x681)Ardnamurchan Copper top (1024x681)1 mash goes into 1 washback. It is a 56 hour fermentation. 10,000 ltrs into wash still and 6,000 low wines into spirit still.

About 15 mins foreshots ~ which is quick, coming in at roughly 72*.  The spirit run is about 2 hours.  They haven’t made any peated yet.

Ardnamurchan Stills (1024x681)

Their new make is lovely. I tried it at an average of 69.4%. It was very round, rolling, heathery, thick with lots of layers. Oatmeal flavours, silky & dry.

ardnamurchan new make (1024x751)

The new make is different to that which I am familiar.  I think Adelphi designed the distillery to create a different tasting new make, so they can widen the flavour profiles of their drams for an expanding market requirement ~ Yet, in doing so they have created something which tastes distinctly of Ardnamurchan!

A tune to listen to whilst sipping your dram is Skyhook:  At the Stringsmiths’s Forge ~ Bothy Reels, including Ardnamurchan Reel


Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009