The Aberdeen Malmaison bar manager hosted a tasting evening last night with Antonia from Adelphi as the speaker. That sorted the Father’s Day present this year! A very enjoyable evening had by all. There were about 15 people there, and 6 rather good whiskies for tasting.
For completeness, they were
Glen Keith, 20 yr old, 59.9%
Bunnahabhain, 13 yr old, 55.2% from a 1st fill sherry cask,
Aberlour, 11 yr old, 55.8%, refill sherry
Fascadale (5 casks of Highland Park), 46%
Tamdhu, 27 yr old, 51%
BenRiach 1979, Cask 515, not yet bottled (to be released shortly; Charles MacLean still needs to do the tasting notes), 48.4% - the outstanding whisky of the night undoubtedly – there was no mention of what it may cost though!
I haven’t checked out their website (maybe this is all there already), but Antonia did discuss their plans in a wee bit of detail.
They are hoping to provide 30% of the barley from the new owner’s farm in Fife, and malt it themselves. 4 washbacks, 1 wash still (10,000 litres), 1 spirit still (6,000 litres). Forsyth’s (unsurprisingly) makes the stills for them; logistics getting from Rothes to Ardnamurchan proving to be a challenge – anyone got a spare chopper, give them a call. Aiming for 100,000 litres in the first year, increasing to 250,000 litres after that.
They’ll eventually go for 3 house styles, using the –dale nomenclature, after some of the locations on the peninsula. The majority of the output will have a similar style to the current Fascadale, with a more sherried variant as the 2nd. Still ruminating on the 3rd style apparently, but likely to be more peaty. And they’ll use local Ardnamurchan peat where required for malting, and heat/power from new eco-friendly bio-mass burner unit (ie use the local trees).
Antonia was full of enthusiasm for the new distillery, and getting the planning permission (site visit by the council, with great local support on the day apparently) was the biggest hurdle. I think they have opted not to go down the Kilchoman route, at the moment, of selling casks with new spirit to individuals. This is largely based on Kilchoman experience of lots of people turning up at odd times, wanting to have a look at their one!
Overall, it appears to be all go at the moment.