Tag Archives: Rachel MacNeill

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May. 30.

FEIS ILE ~ BOWMORE

Bowmore Distillery Open Day ~ The day kicked off for Whisky for Girls with a  food and whisky pairing masterclass with the great Rachel Barrie, Master Blender at Bowmore.

 As I hadn’t had time for breakfast, I was, as in the title of Robin Laing’s song, having ~ Whisky for Breakfast  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivIFaaDNux4&feature=colike 

Rachel and Chefs, David from Rufflets Country House Hotel and Craig Millar @16 West End made us an amazing breakfast.

They took elements of the dram and took the same elements in food form ~ so we had :

Bowmore 12 years, a balanced dram with vanilla and fresh meaty saltiness, which has an underlying layer of something crisscrossing with toastey smokey flavours

and we ate it  with vanilla cream, fresh clam and crispy bacon.

The food really was the manifestation of the dram! How clever I thought. I really like Heston Blumenthall and the way he desconstructs food flavours then remakes dishes.  Rachel and the chefs did this dish and the whisky in a  very similar way.  But the great thing was that, many times I have had clams and bacon and probably had a dram with it too ~ but I really tasted the same flavours and textures in the whisky and then in the food this time, because Rachel and the chefs made me aware of it.

So in the first instance of this class I learned to look at the world and experience food and whisky in a new way ~  Not a bad start to anyones morning!

The class took us through a 15 year old Bowmore, a 17 year old Bowmore ~ the managers favourite, and a wonderful dram from 1985, natural cask strength at 52.3%, which was honey, rich and chocolatey with a smell of old wooden fence posts and some saltiness coming in. This is a sweet, honey like, complex, strong yet light airy open whisky. An absolute delight. This dram was paired with a chocolate sweetie and a sliver of vanilla biscuit sprinkled with freeze dried raspberries.

 I can safely say that it was one of the best breakfasts I have ever had!

Next Whisky for Girls met Margaret and Islay Campbell in the reception centre. Islay used to be the Manager of Bowmore, so it was nice to see him and Margaret still supporting the distillery.

 A wee while later I met up with Whisky Bard Robin Laing and he gave me a taste of his own bottling of pink whisky from somewhere else ~ and again I was draming out the back of a car!

(This is the real festival, where the drams are unexpected and unusual and belong to an individual) ~ experience it where you can…..

We met up with  whisky dogs ~ Meg, Jess and Murdo. Whisky for Girls have seen them at nearly every open day this Feis, so we felt they deserved their picture in the paper ~ so to speak.

 

Next we wandered up to the lounge where everyone was tucking into whisky cocktails, we met the Chief of Staff ~ Ginger Willie himself,  and  four guys who tell it like it is ……………………

 Later, I had a great conversation with @islaybart  and his friend about draming not tasting. Sometimes people get so caught up in analysing the drams they forget to drink them!

That’s where Whisky for Girls come in ………….. we have SLOW DRAM WHISKY TASTING which  reminds people that their whisky is here to be drammed, not dissected!

 Bart and his friend ~ the whisky drammers.

Bowmore Distillery Open Day ~ elegant, quiet (because they sold all their bottles before the open day!) and still going on ~ Islay Pipe Band and Skerryvore are calling……………………………

Slainte!

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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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