Tag Archives: Islay Malts

Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Aug. 21.

Still Games from Bruichladdich

When Whisky for Girls (& Guys!) saw the new Valinch from Bruichladdich, we knew we had to get a bottle……

Still Games

As usual the Bruichladdich Team are on good witty form with this offering ~

Still Game is a Scottish Television show which is extremely funny ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/tv/chewinthefat/jack_and_victor/still_game/

http://www.comedy.co.uk/guide/tv/still_game/episodes/

Jack and Victor, the main characters, are  two Glaswegian pensioners going about their lives and getting into scrapes.

Calling the Valinch Cask  ‘Still Games’ is witty on so many levels ~ McEwan and McGillivray are still game, Still Games are  what is needed to make a whisky…….

Seeing Jim McEwan and Duncan McGillivray in the style of  Jack and Victor gives the locals such a good laugh, because they are both great comedy duos ~

It is heart warming that these two Islay men ~ icons of the whisky world, have the humour and the self confidence to create this joke involving themselves and icons of the comedy world ~ (some may say it is difficult to know which icons are which…..)

On Friday August 16, Whisky for Girls (& Guys!) took ourselves off  to Bruichladdich to fill a bottle of the Still Games golden nectar.

video of cask filling  ~     http://youtu.be/vvbmiJU53Oc

This dram is 10 years matured in a Port Cask and comes in at 62.2% alcohol by volume ~ so plenty dram for your buck!

The Valinch series from Bruichladdich are individual casks from which members of the public can come into the distillery  and hand fill a 500ml bottle.  My bottle is number 131 out of 450 bottles  from the Still Games cask.

This individual bottling is available until the cask is drained,  then a  different one is brought in and set up for hand filling.  These bottlings are exclusive to the distillery and are not available for general release.

This means you must come to Bruichladdich and fill them yourselves!

Amy worked as a tour guide over the summer before heading off to Jordanhill College to do teacher training ~ she got her own Still Game bottle ~ even more exclusive than mine…..

Her bottle has a picture of herself and apprentice blender, Adam Hannett on it ~ and was signed by everyone in the distillery ~

Amy's Still Games BottleAmy's Bottle

 This is a very strong, dryish dram. I bought it on spec because I loved the wit of the name ~ I haven’t even tasted it…..

So, tasting notes are welome!

Whisky for Girls (& Guys!) had a great time, thanks to Raymondo for taking our video and for looking after us so well, and thanks to all at Bruichladdich for your wit ~ greatly appreciated in these days of such troubles in the world.

We look forward to the next Valinch cask, and hope the name and label makes us laugh as much as this one has ~ it is true what they say:

~ wit sells…….!

http://youtu.be/RGY0GNhT3ys

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Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Oct. 20.

Two Drams

Two Drams ~  Bruichladdich Black Art 3  and Ardbeg 10 year old.

What makes a good dram? Is this a different question than what makes a dram good for you?

Yes, I think it is.

We can talk about whisky the way we talk about art.

There is good art and bad art, and there is art you like ~  if you happen to like good art then you can feel very smug.   

It can be the same with whisky. There are good drams and bad drams and there are drams you like (the smugness adage applies…..)

There are many debates over the criteria we use to evaluate what constitutes good art. But I haven’t heard many discussions about the  criteria we use to evaluate a good dram.

We take the criteria we use to evaluate a good dram for granted. We say this is a good dram, that is a good dram. We discuss the dram. But we have already implicitly agreed on what are good elements. We don’t often discuss our how we decided on our premise.

We say that a good dram must be balanced, I agree.  However, we tend to perceive of balance in predominately one way:  as an unfolding of notes and tastes through a duration in time.

 A good dram is usually perceived of as a finely tuned intellectual chess game of a dram. It is conceived of as a journey where the dram unfolds like a musical score, with layers and repetitions, and agreeable harmonising of tastes and notes in a controlled, timely way. A dram like the SMWS’s Audrey Hepburn in a ball gown.

A dram like  Ardbeg 10 years old.

 

I agree with this.

However, should good balance be perceived only as controlled unfolding in length over time?  Why can’t balance be given status and value in another continuum?

If we take it for granted that our perception of the structure of a good dram is like the above, then we automatically assume that a whisky not fulfilling this criteria is less good ~ it becomes, by default, a bad whisky.

 It is a question of thinking differently, ~ for example, most people say that the opposite of LOVE is HATE, but others, due to their perception of things, say that the opposite of LOVE is INDIFFERENCE.

Who is to say which perception is superior, and when is authority bestowed upon one’s assumption that their way is the best?

The point of all this  ‘assuming’ and ‘loving or hating’,  is to make a case in point with the whiskies of Bruichladdich Black Art and Ardbeg 10 year old.

By looking at things in a different way, the balance of Black Art can be seen to be equivalent to that of Ardbeg 10 year old.

The huge nose and taste of Black Art creates such an enormous sensation that if carried on for a long time could be too much, too over whelming. Drinking this is like diving naked off the high board into a swimming pool of velvet. One has a great initial sensate experience. One is engulfed in sensation.

The Ardbeg is not like that. The Ardbeg is a beautifully controlled journey, with the sensations unfolding harmonically through time.

But who can say which experience is superior? In one expression the experience unfolds through time, in the other the experience occurs all at once.

The point is that both drams can be seen as well balanced ~  for what is given.  The Black Art gives the 100% all in one go, the Ardbeg rolls it out a % at a time. The balance is inherent in the EVENT of the drink. You can’t have a one hundred percent experience going on for a few seconds otherwise it wouldn’t be 100%.

In Black Art we experience 360 degrees of sensation immediately. In Ardbeg 10 year old, we experience the 360 degrees as a linear journey.

Do we only regard a dram as good if it fulfils a defined structure? When and who elevated the specific architecture of one dram over another?

Drinking whisky is about the pleasure of the experience. When did we decide that pleasure drunk in one way is superior to that of pleasure drunk in another?

This does not mean that all drams are created equal ~ they are not, some are very good and some can be bad.

 But thinking about the structure of a dram and ones unacknowledged assumptions is certainly a good point for discussion when next partaking of the water of life!

Slainte!

 

 

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Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Jul. 18.

Whisky for Girls Cask on Islay Whisky Lorry

 Whisky for Girls are very excited to have their own display cask on a restored Albion Cheiftain lorry  ~ now the Islay Whisky Lorry ~ owned by Mr Duffie MacNeill, a retired business man from Islay.

 

The lorry was built in 1950 and Duffie bought it in Preston from Terry Bullas, who lovingly restored it.

These Albion Cheiftain lorries were used for haulage in Islay by the Co operative Society. Duffie remembers when the Co op garages were in Shore Street, Bowmore and his brother and Neil Johnston were drivers. This lorry has been restored in the original Co op colours. It was repainted by WH Malcolm and all the sign writing was done by hand in the traditional way by Mr J F Rippey.

These lorries were common sights in and about the Islay distilleries in the past.  When Duffie brought this restored lorry back to Islay in April  this year he decided to furnish the lorry with display casks from all the distilleries. The distilleries provided the casks, some stencilled them, and some were done by Duffie’s wife Roberta. There is even one  with the original stencil from Port Ellen Distillery. Douglas MacTaggart found the stencil his father had and he and Duffie inked up a cask with it.

I was delighted when Duffie asked  if Whisky for Girls would like to have our own cask on the lorry.

Lewis Boyd and Scott Shaw  supplied me with Bowmore Distillery stencils and Duffie and I set to work today making the cask ready for it’s place on the lorry.

I thought one end of the cask looked better than the other as I made a better job of the stencilling as I got nearer the end! 

We displayed my cask beside the Bowmore one as they were kind enough to help Whisky for Girls out with the stencil.

It was great fun to do, then we rolled the cask up a ladder onto the lorry.

Duffie put a rope net over the barrels just incase, although they are all firmly attached to the lorry.

You can see the ink stained hands as I display the finished cask!

Duffie is taking the lorry to the mainland this weekend to take part in a famous road run called ‘Gang Warily’ in memory of Peter Drummond.   http://www.albion-trust.org.uk/events-calendar 

Last year the rally had around 40 vehicles taking  part, this year there maybe more. The route is about 60 miles long and takes in Dalkeith and Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway to name but a few places.

If you are driving on mainland Scotland this weekend, look out for Duffie from Islay’s lorry with a display cask from all the Islay distilleries ~ and, also, the Whisky for Girls cask!

The Whisky for Girls Cask is now a permanent part of the display on the lorry.

Duffie told Whisky for Girls he is happy to realise his long term ambition of owning one of these old lorries, and bringing home a piece of Islay’s history.

We hope in the very far future people will look back on Whisky for Girls as a part of Islay’s herstory and be pleased to see our cask on the whisky lorry along with the other  famous brands!

Thank you so much to Duffie for his support and to Scott and Lewis and the boys from Bowmore Distillery for their help.

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SLIDERIMAGE 2
May. 19.

WHISKY FOR GIRLS SONG

Whisky for Girls have had a song written specially for us.

The very talented singer songwriter Pauline Bradley https://www.facebook.com/Pozzyb 

 

has written a song for us called Whisky for the Girls

It is sung to the tune of Whiskey in the Jar ~ and it is great!

It tells the story of a girl meeting Captain Flannel and he takes her to a party,  but he is a bit salacious,  and  there is no whisky, so she leaves.

She travels further and meets a guy who takes her to an ale house but still no use as there is no whisky, so she leaves.

She then sees a woman standing like an angel with a glass of whisky, or is she a rebel?

So, she follows her and goes to a brilliant party where they are laughing and dancing and drinking whisky.

And they sing ~ It’s Whisky for the Girls!

Pauline came to Islay for a couple of days this week, had a tour round the distilleries and sampled a few choice drams.

She played music where ever she went. We had a wonderful time.

Whisky for Girls and Pauline intend to record the song ~  perhaps with a couple of skirls of the pipes thrown in for good measure.

The song will be available on cd and as an internet down load.

 We will keep you posted as to when it will be available to purchase.

Whisky for Girls thank Pauline Bradley very much for writing this wonderful song for us ~ and more importantly;  becoming our friend.

We will be singing this song for years to come ~ in Islay and all over the world!

 Myself and Pauline toasting the song @ Bruichladdich Distillery. Notice the piece of paper on the table near Pauline’s hand?  ~ That is the very special song sheet!

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