Nearly the end of November and new things are springing up like mushrooms. Must be getting near Christmas…

Obviously the Beckham/Haig Club tie-up has started something as Speyside Distillers is releasing a couple of expressions in partnership with Michael Owen. Some of you may know he signed up as Global Brand Ambassador for them in June. I wasn’t sure where that would add credibility as I wouldn’t have associated him with the style and panache of Beckham – more the solid and dependable type – but the Spey Whisky Michael Owen 1412 (his birthday is 14th December) is for the Chinese and Taiwanese markets where Owen is a big name. If it encourages new people into the whisky fold, then that’s fine by me. It’s been matured in former bourbon barrels and then finished in sherry and port casks. The other launch is The Golden Choice reflecting Owen’s passion for horse racing.

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On the distillery front, Annandale has opened its doors at last. They filled their first cask mid-November and welcomed hundreds of local visitors on their first day or two. Some piccies included here to let you see a bit of it. I’m hoping to get an interview with Professor David Thomson, one of the owners, in the not-too-distant future. This one has been a long time in the creation as they found they had some archaeological work to do after they started digging out for the new place. Also they wanted to get it exactly right in terms of both buildings and the kind of spirit they want to produce. However, it’s full steam ahead now and I hope they do well.

Over in Fife the Wemyss Malts company are on schedule to open their Kingsbarns Distillery, near St. Andrews to the public on 1st December. Some of the distillery equipment will still be getting installed/commissioned through December so you won’t be able to see the place working for a little while yet. They’re a nice company and I hope for good things for them too. Wemyss have some interestingly named whiskies, created with the help of Charles Maclean, always worth inclusion on the back bar as quirkier points of interest e.g. The Hive, Spice King, Peat Chimney. They do taste good so it’s not just for the names.

It seems to be mainly east coast where it’s all happening at the moment as Eden Mill in Fife, at Guardbridge near St. Andrews is another one which has recently produced its first spirit to mature into whisky. It’s an unusual place in that it’s also a craft brewery and they’ve made gin too. The current operation is built on an old site owned by the Haig distilling family in the 19th century.

Although Daftmill, near Cupar in Fife, has not yet released whisky and doesn’t operate regular tours quite yet, it looks like that corner of Fife will be a nice little whisky trail on its own in future and could create a trail running up the east of Scotland if others beef up their visitor offerings.

I’ll be back to you again before Christmas so hope you have a good festive season as it builds up.


© Caroline Dewar 2014



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