In earlier times, duty free shops at airports and elsewhere were magnets for just about everyone.
Located 20 miles south of Dublin, Powerscourt is one of Ireland’s finest stately homes, has one of the world’s top 10 gardens and, since last year, boasts its own whiskey distillery.
When historic hotels get a facelift, all too often the interior is remorselessly gutted and starkly modernised, with just the façade and possibly the cellar bar left unaltered.
Angus Dundee Distillers are one of these firms whose importance is in inverse proportion to their coverage in the media. Put simply, it’s a firm you have hardly ever heard of but they are a big player in the industry. Roughly 5% of the whisky that leaves Scotland in bottles or tankers is supplied by them. In a £4 billion-plus industry, we may be talking about £200 million-plus.
Benromach has long been one of my favourite distilleries and I recently was able to sample three of its single malt expressions—and all three were delectable.
The continuing expansion of Scotch whisky, with countless new distilleries opening and existing distilleries upping production, means demand for malt is growing hand over fist.
As someone who has banged the gong for whisky tourism and urged distilleries to open visitor centres, I’m delighted to see that everyone from the Scotch Whisky Association to VisitScotland is singing from that same hymn sheet.
It is interesting how whisky distilling has changed, from the days of illicit stills in remote caves to the big pot and column stills of today. Yet the central process, separating alcohol from water, remains the same.
This summer has spawned many articles and TV programmes on 1918, being the year women – or at least some of them – got the vote and the First World War ended.
I have frequently commented on the Scottish boom in new distilleries, whether whisky or gin. Yet it pales beside the current Irish distillery boom.