The dramblings of a drambler – 28.04.20 by Tim Foster – Sales Manager, Lindores Abbey Distillery
dramble (noun) to put the choice of dram to chance
drambler (noun) they who let chance determine their dram
drambling (noun) the ramblings of they who discuss drams, or those who are letting others determine their dram
The term ‘drambling’ takes me back to a very special weekend in May 2017. With a head full of brewing and distilling knowledge and a thirst for malty adventure, we set off on the 200,000 mile journey from Edinburgh to Campbeltown (actual distance 184m).
Having had two amazing trips to Islay for the Feis Ile, I’d caught wind of the Campbeltown Malt festival. For those of you who know, Campbeltown was once the juggernaut of the Whisky industry with some 30 whisky distilleries in operation in days gone by. Today sadly, only three exist and one of those only produces spirit for a few weeks a year.
I have a deep affection for Campbeltown Whisky. I find their single malts to be ‘murky’, perhaps due to the use of peat and wider cut points? (if the latter is even true). Maybe it’s that I’ve had some very interesting drams. Or maybe I’ve seen old photography of hardy distillers with beards near the sea and decided they’re pirate like characters. Whatever it is, I have it pegged as Campbeltown murk. And I love it. Richard Patterson, adds colour to the picture in his book Goodness Nose (which also mentions my wife’s home village Gargrave). Richard talks of dingy distilleries and the use of malt spoilt with ergot (linked to witchcraft apparently).
Fast forward to 2017 and another glorious Scottish summers day (Summer in Scotland is a weather system which is a little warmer than winter but not as warm as spring and which lasts for 3 days). After spending day one at Glen Scotia and having Charlie Maclean pour me drams from the cask, followed by another day at Springbank wading through wave after wave of ‘European Malt Enthusiasts’ all queuing for a festival bottle of Springbank. We arrived at Glengyle Distillery, home of Kilkerran Single Malt Whisky.
Nestled in the corner of their courtyard, illuminated by a bright beam of golden sunlight was a trestle table covered in sample bottles. Naturally it wasn’t long before we went to investigate. ‘£5 gets you 3 dram tickets, each sample is numbered and you fish your numbers out of this bucket’, explained the kind man.
Drambling is born.
Now, you’ll forgive me if I don’t recall the exact specifics of those first 3 drams and you’ll get to understand why. I do recall that one was a 40yr Cameronbridge, a Fijian Rum and something like Glenfarclas. All single cask, all cask strength. Note – it is 12.00 at this point of the day.
Many, many more drambles occurred. Towards the end of the day, the declaration came from the stall that they had to get rid of everything. We ended up buying up all remaining samples for around £20 (maybe, I really don’t know, sounds about right). I’m not sure how we got to the campsite or where the langoustine came from, but by god was it worth it.
I now dramble whenever I’m in a Whisky bar. I like nothing better than letting fate (the bartender) decide what dram I will enjoy. I really don’t care what they select, in that it doesn’t matter if I’ve had it a million times. I want to be taken out of my comfort zone and have that little rush of excitement that I could be in for something truly amazing, something that I might never have chosen for myself.
Why not take a dramble next time you’re in a bar.
Cask Ownership at Lindores Abbey Distillery
The distillery is of course currently closed but you can still chat to Elliot, our Cask Custodian about our cask ownership scheme and what is involved. We still have a lot of exciting projects going on with different types of casks coming through – but they are all very limited so get in touch if you would like to explore different opportunities within the whisky world. You can contact Elliot on firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more at https://lindoresabbeydistillery.com/welcome-lindores-abbey-distillery/cask-ownership/