Peter Ranscombe takes another light-hearted look at the latest whisky news.

FANCY helping to invent new whiskies? Then Port of Leith has the answer.

The £12 million vertical distillery – which is being built next to Ocean Terminal in, erm, the port of Leith – is launching a “quality control division” for its fans.

Members will be sent samples each year from its maturing casks and will be invited to tastings at the distillery, which is due to open in the spring.

Port of Leith has run experiments with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on using different yeasts to make whisky.

Toasting the sale of Royal Mile Whiskies

History has repeated itself, with another former member of staff from Royal Mile Whiskies returning to buy the company.


Ken and Ian Taylor opened their shop in Edinburgh back in 1991, with former employee Keir Sword buying the business in 1997.

Now, Iain McClune – who worked at Royal Mile Whiskies for nearly a decade – has returned to buy the shop, along with its sister outlets, Drinkmonger and The Cigar Box.

Arthur Motley, who has worked alongside Sword for more than 20 years, will run the three businesses for McClune.

Coppersmiths making whisky stills

Famous Rothes coppersmith Forsyths won’t only be making the stills for the new Cabrach distillery – it’ll be over-seeing the whole project.

The Cabrach Trust, which aims to attract people back to a rural part of Moray, has signed a deal with Forsyths for “all major aspects of construction, alongside the full manufacture, fit out, and commissioning of the distillery, dunnage warehouse, and peat shed”.

Forsyths is contributing £500,000 towards the £3 million project.

Richard Forsyth, chairman of the fourth-generation family business, said: “The fact The Cabrach Distillery is a community interest company and will directly benefit the Moray community – our community – was a huge draw for Forsyths, which is why we wanted to support the project as much as possible.”

Glenmorangie whisky still room

Ever wanted to have a nose around Glenmorangie’s distillery near Tain? Then you’re in luck.

The distillery is holding an open weekend on 15 and 16 October as part of parent company Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy’s (LVMH’s) “Journées Particulières” event.

A total of 57 LVMH sites – ranging from Champagne house Moët & Chandon to jeweller Tiffany & Co – spread across 15 countries are taking part.

Distillery manager Ed Thom will be running whisky tastings, while visitors can also find out more about its work to support oysters in the Dornoch Firth and giraffes in captivity and the wild.

The Three Chimneys restaurant on Skye

You’ve heard about food and wine matching – but how about food and whisky matching?

Scott Davies, head chef at The Three Chimneys restaurant on Skye, has teamed up with the nearby Isle of Raasay distillery to create a eight-course tasting menu with paired whiskies.

Highlights include alder-smoked trout paired with a Champagne cocktail featuring Raasay’s ex-Bordeaux red wine single cask whisky, and Vatten farm lamb haggis with Jerusalem artichokes matched to the distillery’s unpeated virgin Chinkapin oak single cask whisky.

The menu is being offered this month and next month.

The Macallan 81-year-old whisky

And finally… it wouldn’t be a whisky news round-up without an old bottle of Scotch selling at auction – and they don’t come any older than this one.

The Macallan 81-year-old “The Reach” is the oldest bottle ever to go under the hammer.

It sold for £300,000 at Sotheby’s, having been valued at between £110,000 and £200,000.

The cash will go towards The Macallan’s artisan apprenticeship fund.

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages.

Plus, check out Blair Bowman’s whisky column in the November issue of Scottish Field magazine.

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