I decided to attend this whisky event at Dobbie Hall in Larbert, after spotting that the closed Lowland single malt Rosebank would be taking part…plus it is always nice to come and sample some whiskies and meet some familiar and new faces from the industry at these events!
The event was sold out and I should not have been surprised by the long queue outside of the venue as we arrived just before the doors opened at 12 noon, fortunately there was plenty of space and whisky to be sampled inside.
The Rosebank stand was busy as expected given the nature of the product and the fact it is a local brand, so I decided to bide my time and start the adventure for the day at the stand from Lindores Abbey Distillery. They have been distilling since 2017 and have brought back the tradition of whisky making to their ancient site in Fife, Scotland.
As the distillery is still relatively new, they had on display the opportunity to sample (and purchase) bottles of their aqua vitae, distilled in copper stills and infused with a blend of spices and herbs, all grown in the grounds of the ancient Abbey. We also had the chance to sample some of their new make spirit, which was a nice and unexpected surprise.
Next up was the stand from the independent bottlers Adelphi who are behind the Ardnamurchan Distillery (opened in July 2014), where Connal (pictured below) took us through their range of scotch whiskies. I went for the limited edition Glenborrodale Blended Malt, which I think was made with Highland Park, Glenrothes and Tamdhu…
Also, I was glad to find out that Connal was a reader of the Inside the Cask blog, so we had to have the mandatory picture below.
Across from Adelphi, we visited the stand from the Scotch whisky specialists Douglas Laing, who will be opening a £10.7m distillery in the banks of the River Clyde, in the heart of Glasgow (picture below).
There was quite a selection on offer from the Douglas Laing range, and the challenge as always with these shows is to pick just one…
I decided to try a 21 year old single malt from the Speyside region of Scotland (pictured below).
At this stage of the proceedings, the group I was with decided to take a mini-break and have some food and water, so we went for what was available including some stovies (a Scottish dish).
The whisky sampling continued with the Glenturret Distillery, which was a very familiar distillery to me, given that I have worked before for The Edrington Group and Maxxium.
Also known for being the home of The Famous Grouse Experience, the distillery has been put up for sale by The Edrington Group, as announced in 2018.
The drinks distributor Indie Brands, led by Douglas (above with the bottle of UWA tequila), brought along some surprises alongside its scotch whisky portfolio, such as Brockman’s gin and the Scottish tequila UWA. We decided to stick with the whisky and went for The Arran Single Malt finished in Amarone casks. Also spoke with Mark (above) about the Glasgow’s Whisky Festival taking place in November.
From Gordon & MacPhail, we had a sample of their 15 year old single malt from Benromach Distillery. Unfortunately, Loch Lomond Distillery was not participating in the festival, but it was good to see it was available to purchase from The Good Spirits Co. shop at the festival.
We took another break from sampling to replenish on the water and check out ‘the ultimate spirit glass’ invented by George Manska from Neat. I took advantage of the offer at the show to purchase two Neat glasses from Gustavo and will be checking them out at home in due course.
We returned to whisky sampling through the offer of Springbank and Kilkerran single malts from the Campbeltown region. Alongside Glen Scotia Distillery, these are the three whiskies on offer from this unique region in Scotland that used to be known as the ‘Victorian whisky capital of the World’.
One of my friends (above on the left with Grant from Springbank) is a carbon copy – in my humble opinion – of Iain McAllister, the Master Distiller at Glen Scotia Distillery…never seen them both at the same place….
I was glad to have some Loch Lomond Single Grain distilled in 1996 from whisky bottlers Murray McDavid. Dean (pictured above) was great value and very entertaining in the process!
Some of us in the group I was with, decided to sample the Whyte & Mackay’s offering including the newly relaunched Fettercairn single malts and also the new blended scotch released to attract younger consumers, The Woodsman.
This was followed by the offering from Speciality Drinks, with a strong and diverse offering by Nathan and his team including world whiskies such as Kavalan from Taiwan, Amrut from India and Nikka from Japan.
Also met there with Timna (picture above) who was working at the stand and whose other half is the Edinburgh Whisky blogger himself.
SPEY single malt from Speyside Distillery was next on the hit list and it was fascinating to hear from Paul about their story and also their success in growing the brand abroad, in places such as Taiwan.
Finally, we finished up at the Rosebank single malt stand where Gordon took us through the construction plans, a sample of their 12 year old and even treated us to a special older sample of their whisky from 1990 (pictured above). It was nice to see another familiar face from the drinks industry in Gordon (pictured below), especially as both of us tend to always be travelling with our jobs.
The Falkirk Whisky Social was a resounding success and another sold out session would be starting after our departure home. We decided for a night cap at The Pot Still in Glasgow, given its huge selection of malt whiskies, with a fair amount of choice on Loch Lomond scotch whiskies for example (pictured below).
The choices were made between Loch Lomond and one of my personal favourites, the Glen Scotia Victoriana single malt (pictured below), and after some more chat and meeting some locals and guests from abroad, we headed in our separate ways home…
Disclaimer – if I missed out on any scotch whiskies/ distilleries attending the show, please accept my apologies! We could only cover so many stands and drams of whisky in the time allocated…
For another whisky festival blog post on ‘Having fun at The QMU Whisky Club Festival’ – click here.