Glenkinchie is just fifteen miles from the capital, earning it the title “The Edinburgh Malt”. It’s strange to think of the city when you see fields of barley or the green Lammermuir Hills rolling north towards the Firth of Forth. Stranger still when you taste the subtle, floral flavour of this rare Lowland survivor.
Glenkinchie whisky is perfect as an apéritif or at the start of a meal due to its fragrant, light body. Distilled in Scotland’s largest stills and matured for at least 12 years, the result is a floral whisky with a fresh, creamy taste.
The Glenkinchie 12 Year Old was named Best Lowland Single Malt at the 2013 World Whiskies Awards.
I took these photos below on a recent visit to the distillery and brought back a distillery only bottling for The Haven customers. It won’t last long!
Cragganmore distillery, on the banks of the river Spey, is home to one of the most complex and characterful malt whiskies of the Speyside region. Laura Vernon is the current master distiller.
The distillery was founded in 1869 by Big John Smith on land leased from Sir George Macpherson-Grant. The site was chosen by Smith both for its proximity to the waters of the Craggan burn and because it was close to the Strathspey Railway. Smith was an experienced distiller, having already been manager of the Macallan, Glenlivet, Glenfarclas and Wishaw distilleries.
Cragganmore Scotch can count barley and Scotland’s fastest flowing river as two of its natural influences. In fact, Big John chose the location precisely because of the plentiful supply of spring water, and the connection to the Great Highland Railway line. In fact, Cragganmore was the first Speyside distillery to take advantage of railway transport as a means of bringing in raw materials, and sending out their delicious, unique malt.
Let’s raise a glass to one of the great drams of the Speyside region.
Every Wednesday we welcome a new Dram to our pages.
This week is Balblair, a Higland coastal Malt . Located on the idyllic coast of the Dornoch Firth. This is a lovely dram that is getting harder and harder to get hold of.
If you go to The Haven in Boston they have the 1999.
With influence from both American and Spanish oak, this perfectly rounded Vintage is a true testimony to the craft of traditional whisky-making.
By 1895 the railway had come to Balblair bringing coal for the still and boiler and barley for the malting. To take advantage of the railway line the Distillery moved half a mile north to its current location.