S8E3 - Auchentoshan Distillery Exclusive cask 4447

Andy & Stu are joined by Sorren Krebs - author if the OCDwhisky blog https://ocdwhisky.com/ - to review a beautiful distillery exclusive single cask Auchentoshan whisky. It is matured in cask 4447, an oloroso maturation to give a stunning heavily sherried dram.

The lads also play some songs from Glasgow bands to accompany the whisky, given the distillery's proximity to the famous Scottish city.

Remember to follow us on twitter and instagram @thisismydram.

S8E2 - Glen Scotia Victoriana

This Is My Dram are joined by whisky blogger Brian and Whisky photographer John (@maltmusings and @jwbassman_ respectively on twitter) for a round table tasting of the Glen Scotia Victoriana.

They also play songs along a Royals theme to go along with the Victoriana, and the usual science bit and Dramier League table make an appearance.

Please follow us on Twitter and instagram @thisismydram

S8E1 - Smogen Sherry Octaves

A brand new series... after a long break, Andy and Stu are back with a BANG! (ok... it's more of a whimper) as they review a Swedish single malt whisky - the Smogen Sherry Octaves, Sherry Project 2:1.

They also play songs along an octaves theme to go with it, and have all the usual features. See our full playlist on this Spotify playlist:

S7E6 - Teeling 24yr Vintage Reserve Collection

In the final episode of the series... we go back to basics with no interviews, no guests, and no new features... pulling out all the stops for the series finale then?!... ok fine, we're lazy.

However what we DO have to offer is an amazing Irish Whiskey. We try the incredible Teeling 24 year old Vintage Reserve Collection, and play some Irish songs to accompany it.

Remember to follow us on twitter and instagram @thisismydram. Cheers! See you in series 8!

S7E5 - Spirit of Yorkshire

In this episode, Andy & Stu don their flat caps, and taste one of the maturing malts projects from the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery. The song theme is, as you can probably guess, songs from and/or about Yorkshire.

You can find our full Yorkshire playlist for the episode here:

There's also an interview with Joe Clark, the Director of Whisky from the distillery, about their upcoming single malt whisky, and their pride at keeping it local.

Finally, all the usual features (the Science Bit and Dramier League table) make an appearance. Remember to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @thisismydram. Enjoy!

S7E4 - Bourbon Gents Mash Up (EH Taylor small batch/Noah's Mill)

Andy & Stu are joined by Mr Pie & Mav of our brother podcast, the Bourbon Gents, to talk about bourbons, mash ups, and Top Gun. More specifically, we review two wonderful Bourbons, EH Taylor Small Batch, and Noah's Mill, and play some mash up songs to accompany them.

We also chat to our guests about their website and podcast, and find out more about them on the "Listener Bit". You can find out more about them at http://www.bourbongents.com.

Here are the links to the Mash Ups the lads play on this podcast:

S7E3 - That Boutique-y Whisky Co Blended Whisky (Japanese & Scotch Blend)

On this Episode, Stu and Andy try the intriguing blended whisky from That Boutique-y Whisky Co, which is a 21 year old Blend of Japanese & Scotch Whiskies. Given the lack of information available on which distilleries the whiskies come from, can they use a bit of detective work to figure out where the component parts come from (spoiler alert: No)

To accompany the whisky, the lads play some songs that have a mix of genres, to complement the mix of whisky genres in the dram itself. This leads to an eclectic playlist of tracks of all styles!

The episode also has the usual features of the Dramier League table and the science bit, and the Listener bit guest is the enigma that is @derekcuster on twitter (listen on to find out if that's his real name!). Enjoy!

S7E2 - GlenDronach 18 Allardice

Happy New Year to all the This Is My Dram listeners! We celebrate the new year by looking back at our favourite songs of 2018, and review an 18 year old whisky to tie in with the year... A GlenDronach no less, the 18 year old in their core range is named "Allardice" (though, thankfully not after Big Sam!), and is a sherried beatuy!

We also have the usual Science Bit, Dramier League Table, answer a burning question from #askusanything on Twitter, and tell you about a few other things we enjoyed in 2018.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and instagram @thisismydram.

S7E1 - Christmas Vinterglod (Bunnahabhain & Mackmyra)

MERRY CHRISTMAS! From This Is My Dram! In this Christmassy episode, Andy & Stu give each other a whisky present, which they taste blind on the podcast... literally in one case! THey are a beautiful single cask Bunnahabhain and a wintery mulled wine finished Mackmyra Vinterglod. Wow!

They also play some Christmassy tunes to go with the drams, and Brian (@maltmusings) does the Listener Bit - you can find his blog here: http://malt-musings.blogspot.com/

Please follow us on twitter and instagram @thisismydram. Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year listeners, thanks for a great 2018!

IMG_5085.jpg

S6E6 - The Present Future (Ledaig 12yr)

In this series finale, Andy & Stu embark on a journey into the future *bleepy noises" ... or something. They try the Whisky Show's 10th Anniversary bottling of a 12 year old Ledaig, labelled "The Present Future".

To keep up the futuristic theme, the lads play songs with a "future" theme to accompany the whisky. Including everything from daft punk, to 1920s classical music from the futurist movement - eclectic, to say the least!

Andy & Stu are also joined by Aiden Bertie (@Bobafett2K6 on Twitter) for the listener bit, and the Science Bit and Dramier League table feature as usual.

Remember to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @thisismydram.

S6E4 - Octomore 8.1 & 8.2

Welcome all Peat freaks! This episode we review two of the peatiest whiskies money can buy: Bruichladdich's Octomore 8.1 and 8.2, both a massive 167 PPM.

We pair the whisky with a playlist focused on 8/Octo to go with it, you can find the full playlist here:

We are also joined by a guest and big fan of the Bruichladdich distillery, John. You can follow him on twitter @jwbassman_ , and find out all about him as he takes on the grilling questions in "the listener bit".

We also have regular features the Science Bit and the Dramier League Table. Please remember to follow us on twitter and instagram @thisismydram.

Here are a few images from Stu’s visit to the Bruichladdich distillery from August 2018:

unnamed-17.jpg
unnamed-19.jpg
unnamed-18.jpg

S6E3 - Starward Whisky 10th Anniversary

G'Day mate! We go Down Under (in spirit, anyway) for this Australian themed episode, where we review Starward whisky's 10th Anniversary bottling.

We also play songs to go along with it along a space theme, given the distillery's out of this world name and bottle designs:

We also have a new feature, the "listener bit" with this episode featuring our favourite Australian listener, Daniel Hoper (@why_not_whisky on twitter), and... does the Science Bit finally return?! well... I wouldn't want to ruin it for you, so you'll have to listen to find out.

Get in touch on twitter or instagram (@thisismydram).

You can find all of our podcast episodes on iTunes, acast, stitcher, or any decent podcast app.

S6E1 - Yoichi Distillery

A brand new series kicks off with a slightly different style of episode, we start with a documentary piece on Stu's trip to the Yoichi distillery in Japan in November last year. This is followed by a tasting of the Single Malt Yoichi Whisky, and a comparison to the distillery exclusive "Peaty & Salty" expression.

As always, we score the whisky for the Dramier League table, and play some Japanese music to go with the Japanese whisky. Have a listen to the episode on all good podcast apps, and here:

The music played on the episode can be found in this Spotify playlist:

...and here is a transcript of the documentary element of this episode:

I travelled to Japan with my wife in November 2018 to explore the incredible culture and cost some Japanese distilleries to find out more about the whiskies which I had grown to love from the Far East. We landed in Tokyo, and spent 4 crazy days wondering around a city of non stop lights and noise from all angles, it’s crazy, exciting and intimidating.

IMG_0813.JPG

We fell in love with it but felt completely exhausted after days of exploring and jet lag, so it was a welcome relief to catch a flight to Hokkaido - the most northern of Japan’s main islands. Japan is an island of extreme’s, technology juxtoposed with tradition, temples next to skyscrapers, innovation crossed with historic attitudes, and these competing extremes are reflected in the difference between a manic and buzzing Tokyo, compared to the quiet and serene Hokkaido. This calm island with landscape reminiscent of parts of Scotland, is where we would find Nikka’s Yoichi distillery, nestled in a small town on the west coast of Hokkaido.

The Yoichi distillery is located by the sea in the small town of Yoichi in Hokkaido, which has distinctly Scottish feel, and the island even has its own peat from the nearby Ishikari valley.

The distillery is beautiful, the .leach of the indivdual parts of the distillery are housed in traditional Japanese buildings looking like Pagodas and surrounded by fields, trees and gardens. It is here we found out about the fascinating character of Masataka Taketsuru, his loyal wife Rita, and their labour of love at the Yoichi distillery.

IMG_0954.JPG

Masataka Taketsuru was 19 when he moved to Scotland to learn about the craft of creating scotch whisky. He spent 18 months in Scotland - working at 3 distilleries in that time and painstakingly documenting the process of distilling and maturing whisky, but perhaps just as significantly met the love of his life, Rita Cowan. After her fiancé died in world war 1, Takestsuru was a chance of a different life and new world. Taketsuru offered to stay in Glasgow with Rita, but knowing his passion was in Japan, Rita insisted they move to Japan - against the best wishes of her family. So Taketsuru and Rita returned to Japan, complete with an in depth knowledge of making that spirit we all know and love... whisky

The Japanese whisky industry has two major players, Suntory created by Shinjiro Torii (the last two syllables of company and founder being the same is no coincidence)... and Nikka founded by the aforementioned Masataka Taketsuru. However, Taketsuru started his career working for Suntory and helping to set up Japan’s first ever whisky distillery, Yamazaki, in 1923. Taketsuru left to set up his own distillery in Yoichi in 1933 due to “creative differences”, and Nikka was born. This may not have been possible were it not for the influence of his Scottish wife, Rita, once again. She was instrumental (quite literally) in raising the funds to set up the Yoichi distillery, as she taught Piano in Kyoto to the children of the eventual wealthy investors of the distillery.

The distillery may be a trek to get to, but once you’re there you are rewarded with free entry to the distillery, as you make your way around each building at your own pace. One of the most fascinating sights is not far from the entrance, where the distillery workers are shovelling coal into their coal fired pot stills, a traditional method which we believe is now unique to the distillery, as all other distilleries worldwide have moved onto more modern methods. `insert sound of coal shovelling` The skill required to keep the still at the correct temperature using a coal fire is a difficult one to master. The reward for doing so though, is a extra element of flavour which is now unique to Yoichi and Nikka. The coal fire give variations in temperatures and hot spots, which gives additional roasted flavours. But the skill is to stop it from burning.

IMG_6506.jpg

The distillery also has a small warehouse, fascinating museum, and whisky bar complete with an opportunity to buy a dram of many hard to find expressions of Japanese whisky. Unfortunately for me, I was the designated driver due to an “admin error” in my wife’s international drivers permit... note to anyone visiting Japan who is planning to drive ... make sure you get the drivers permit in the UK before you go, and make sure they’ve stamped the right bloody things on it! We were close to resorting to my wife driving me to the distillery on the back of a motorbike... which in fairness, may appeal to some of you out there! Perhaps the only disappointing part of the distillery tour was the tasting at the end. This is perhaps due to the fact it is completely free ... which is remarkable in fairness so I shouldn’t complain... but the opportunity to pay for some more interesting expressions with someone to talk you through the tasting would have been welcome. You have to resort to the pricey whisky bar if you want to geek out! The gift shop has some interesting distillery only versions of the Yoichi single malt, including a sherried version, and the “peaty and salty” version I picked up. These are much sought after given you can only get them at the distillery and I can highly recommend them.

IMG_6473.jpg

We finished our tour reflecting on the incredible impact of Rita Cowan on this distillery and her husband. Growing up in an age where women could easily take a back seat, it’s fascinating to hear how important Rita was to the success of Nikka, and how much she sacrificed for the ambitions of her husband. 

Rita’s story is so popular, that there has even been a recent fictionalised soap opera of her relationship with Taketsuru, broadcast on Japan’s main TV station, called asadora. Many fans of Rita make an annual pilgrimage to the distillery to pay their respects. 

IMG_1001.JPG

So there it is. Yoichi distillery. A place that has a fascinating story, of love, loyalty, ambition and tradition. Given my love of whisky, it was worth the ambitious long trip to the far north of Japan to experience it, and I encourage any Japanese whisky fan out there to do the same if you get the opportunity. Surrounded by serenity in Hokkaido, it is a truly unique experience. We raise a glass to Masataka Taketsuru, and his inspirational Scottish wife, Rita Cowan.

S5E6 - Bushmills Black Bush

In the last episode of our budget series, we review the blended Irish Whiskey: Bushmills Black Bush. Given Andy has relocated back home to Northern Ireland, just down the road from the Bushmills Distillery, we thought it was worth exploring a budget whiskey from his hometown, and we pair it with songs about relocating and moving.

Please follow us on Twitter and Instagram @thisismydram

S5E5 - Writer's Tears Red Head

This episode, we review a beautiful Irish budget Whiskey matured in Spanish sherry butts... Writer's Tears Red Head from Walsh Whiskey. We pair it with some songs by brilliant red head musicians.

One of those musicians is Rebecca Jones, who we interview over Skype and get her thoughts on the whiskey as well as her music.

As always, we would love to hear from you so please follow us on Twitter or Instagram @thisismydram.

S5E4 - Four Roses Single Barrel

Time for a rebrand as the "Bourbon Gentlemen" for an episode... we immediately deny any copyright issue with the Bourbon Gents podcast - see you in court boys!

So with our Bourbon hats on for a change, we review Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon. Four Roses was the favourite tipple of American writer William Faulkner, so we play songs with a literary theme to go with the whiskey.

Andy's "Science Bit" doesn't quite make a return, but we do have a suitable alternative for this episode to keep the fans happy... 

S5E3 - Johnnie Walker Black Label

In this episode, we tackle the goliath brand of the Whisky industry - Johnnie Walker! We taste the Black Label 12 year old blended whisky (fitting within our budget range of £20-£40) and play some UK No 1 hits to accompany this No1 best selling whisky brand - finding No 1 songs that didn't harm our "impeccable" (...ahem) reputation was somewhat challenging, but we certainly embraced it!

S5E2 - Monkey Shoulder

In the second episode of our budget whisky series, we review the well known blended malt Monkey Shoulder, and create a playlist of songs about Monkeys to go with it! Feel free to add your favourite monkey songs to our collaborative playlist on Spotify.

Please add your favourite monkey related songs to this playlist (or tweet us if you don't have spotify and we'll add it for you!):

Get in touch with us by contacting us on twitter or instagram @thisismydram, or go to our website thisismydram.com for all our podcasts, playlist and blogs. Cheers!

S4E4 - Hibiki 17

This episode marks the satisfying conclusion to a sacred quest, for the holy grail (or indeed, unicorn) that is an affordable bottle of Hibiki 17. Stu tracked a bottle down for a very reasonable price (excluding the cost of flights, board and accommodation) in a recent holiday in Japan, just in time for the first breaths of 2018 so we could look back on a year of fantastic music and enjoy a dram of the rare stuff. 

It's all pretty well explained in the podcast. Tell you what, while you wait for it to download here are some lovely new words that made it into the dictionary (OED, naturally) in 2017:

1. Buggerlug (n.) - An affectionate term for a child, particularly when it isn't listening to the adult.
2. Spooge (n. formal) - Any sealant or lubricant applied during the assembly of electronic equipment.
3. Throat Sing (v.) - To perform throat singing.
4. Ginkgolide (n.) - Any of a group of bitter compounds present in the leaves and roots of the ginkgo tree.
5. Zyzzyva (n.) - A genus of tropical weevils native to South America.
6. Belyando spew (n. informal) - Any illness marked by bouts of vomiting.

Anyway, to music! The six, yes six, tracks that feature on the podcast, in full, are:

Stu’s 1st selection: Rolling Blackouts Coast Fever  - French Press
Andy’s 1st selection: Public Service Broadcasting - They Gave Me A Lamp

Stu’s 2nd selection: Melanie De Biasio - Afro Blue
Andy’s 2nd selection: Richard Dawson - Soldier


Stu’s 3rd selection: Colin Stetson - Like wolves on the fold
Andy’s 3rd selection: Hurray For The Riff Raff - Living In The City

For the playlist, we gave runner-up nods to King Krule, Phoenix, Arca, Four Tet, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Les Amazone d'Afrique (Dombolo)...Have a listen to the full playlist here:

Don't forget to follow us on twitter, subscribe to the podcast on your trusty podable devices and even leave a satisfying 5-star review, which helps us get new listeners and frees the Princess from the haunted castle.