About This Dram
We are finally back to our regularly scheduled programming! In-store sampling is back on the menu after almost a year and a half of being unable to offer them. And now they have a catchy new name – “Drop-In Drams”! So, welcome back! We missed you all.
Throughout the 17 months since our last release (Dram E73 – Shetland Reel), we’ve had literally hundreds of whiskies featured through our web show Drinking Out Loud. And as much as I’ve personally enjoyed sampling them all – it just wasn’t the same without being able to offer samples to our full 1200+ membership. So, with that in mind, as we reenter the wonderful world of sharing, discussing, and of course scoring whisky as a group, I want to showcase some of my favourite drams from the last 17 months. Drams that if it weren’t for the global pandemic, we would have all enjoyed together. Better late than never eh!?
So we start off with this curious 14-year-old port cask expression from Tallant. Many of you may be wondering what Tallant is. Some of you may be thinking “that rings a bell, isn’t that an old closed distillery on Islay?”. Well, those whisky history buffs among you are right! Tallant was just two miles east of Bowmore and was established in 1821. Before you get too excited though – I should let you know that this whisky is not actually from that lost distillery. It would be pretty hard to be, seeing as the distillery closed back in 1852!
Instead, the Tallant name has been revived by independent bottler and prospective distiller Simon Farrington. Simon is a son of Islay, growing up on the rugged Hebridean whisky paradise. After moving to Vancouver, he decided to pursue a dream of his to share his love for Scottish heritage and whisky with his newfound home. While plans for his upcoming Tallant Distillery are in the works, he decided to take a parcel of very special casks that he owned over on Islay and become an Independent bottler to get his name out there. With casks as good as these, his reputation is off to a phenomenal start. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that all five casks are from cult favourite distillery Bruichladdich. It also doesn’t hurt that his old family friend Jim McEwan helped him make his selections…
To learn more about Tallant, Bruichladdich, and the other four expressions in the lineup – you can check out my full feature-length interview with Simon Farrington right here. And of course, you can check out my unbottling video below.
Vimto! A popular British cordial flavoured with raspberries, blackcurrants and secret herbs and spices. But it’s somewhat more refined than what I used to drink as a kid. Perhaps if such a thing could exist, this is more akin to a vintage Vimto – the top shelf stuff! It’s wild and coastal too, however. The port cask, while fairly influential on this whisky (especially in colour!) doesn’t drown out the whisky’s own unique spirit character, but harmonizes and amplifies it. There’s a saltiness yes, but there’s more of a damp slate note that takes me right back to the rugged west coast of Scotland. There are candied orange peels too, along with a hint of mint and black cherries.
The finish is what kicks this whisky into another realm of glory or me. It’s almost as if you can’t really tell that the liquid has left your mouth. The flavours just linger at full strength for a good fifteen seconds before making a gracefully slow exit which makes the whole experience feel decidedly un-rushed. A laid back west coast island whisky from Scotland that perfectly fits the laid back west coast island atmosphere here in Canada.