S5E1 - The Amber Light/Glen Moray Elgin Classic Sherry

Welcome to a BRAND NEW SERIES, and the start of our "budget whiskies" series. Our first budget whisky is a Glen Moray Elgin Classic Sherry cask finish whisky, which can generally be found for the ridiculous price of £20-£25. We also have a great interview with Whisky guru and all round nice guy Dave Broom, who is raising money for his new documentary film called The Amber Light. You can support the project here. But be quick! The Kickstarter ends on 6th April 2018.

To go along with the Amber Light film, we continue the film theme by playing songs from film soundtracks on the podcast, including a song suggested by Dave Broom. Follow us on twitter & Instagram and keep up with The Amber Light film @amberlightfilm. You can listen to the full playlist here: 

This Is My Dram are licenced to play full tracks through a LOML licence from PRS.

S4E6 - G&M Miltonduff 1997 (Newcastle Whisky Festival)

An explosive (or not...) final episode of our fourth season in which we try a Gordon & MacPhail cask strength Miltonduff whisky, which was 20 years old and an absolute beaut! We were lucky enough to sit down with G&M's very own Ben Bowers at the Newcastle Whisky festival and discuss how the company is evolving, and try the whisky itself.

We play some tracks, as always, to accompany the whisky, and this time we focussed on festival headliners to keep in with the theme of the whisky festival we attended. We also have a song suggestion from a twitter friend we met at the festival, Scott Munro, and do the usual Science Bit, and Dramier League Table. Please follow us on twitter and Instagram. Cheers!

This Is My Dram have a PRS LOML licence to play full tracks on the podcast.

S4E3 - GlenfarXmas Special

Choosing the right Christmas present can be hard. You have to weigh up your recipient's passions and ambitions with your price budget and choice of tax-dodging delivery services. Choosing a Christmas present for someone you've presented almost 25 podcast episodes about whisky, it turns out, is somewhat easier. This year, knowing our respective love for sherried Speysiders and their inherent "liquid Christmas cake" nature, both wrapped a delicious Glenfarclas expression for our festive blind tasting charade.

Stu was up first with an accidental litre of Glenfarclas 105, a cask-strength heavy hitter, which sent Andy to the right vicinity quite quickly in the taste test but required a couple of minor hints to narrow it down to the correct dram. It's a firm favourite at This Is My Dram HQ and is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any whisky drinker. Andy took a punt on a bottle of Glenfarclas 1996 Premium Edition (bottled 2017), which is a bottling generally prepared for the German market as the label on the back of the bottle confirmed (Spricht irgendwer Deutsch?). It was a lighter dram than the 105, with pleasing hints of aniseed and menthol, that reminded us of aspects of the 15, 17 and 25 year expressions available in the core range. Stu picked out all the right notes in the blind test but couldn't reasonably be expected to guess the bottling. It turns out 'distillery beginning with G' is one of the least useful clues in a whisky guessing game. Glen-everything!

The tracks that feature on the podcast, in full, are:

Andy’s 1st selection: The Futureheads - Christmas Was Better In The 80s
Stu’s 1st selection: Phoenix - Alone On Christmas Day

Andy’s 2nd selection: Soul Saints Orchestra - Santa's Got A Bag Of Soul
Stu’s 2nd selection: Gaz Coombes and Adam Buxton - I Believe In Father Christmas

For the playlist, we covered all the bases with 20s jazz, 70s soul, poetic folk, indie rock, Christmas film soundtracks and of course, Sufjan Stevens...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 helps Santa juggle the burden of delivering all the presents and keeping Rudolph off the heroin for another year.

S3E6 - Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie

If you've ever wondered why those clawingly gracious stars of stage and screen simper through wringing hands about how they "owe it all to their fans" at the awards podium, perhaps the premise for this episode will go some way to explaining that phenomenon. After the last episode we found our whisky shelves - and indeed whisky budgets - creaking to breaking point and with a heavy schedule of personal and professional demands on our time, we were flush out of good ideas for a review theme. Charging over the hill, like a Knight in Shining Armour holding a Glencairn glass and pair of headphones aloft, was one of our fabulous listeners with a plum idea for a podcast theme.

An electronic mail all the way from Australia, no less.

G'Day Stu and Andy,

As a suggestion for future episodes, I would like to hear your thoughts on the Bruichladdich Classic Laddie.  The playlist for The Classic Laddie as it is an unpeated Islay (unexpected by most) should be songs that are a different genre from a bands usual.

Can we get an update on how Australia are tracking on the listener leader board? (I am doing my best to increase those figures).

Cheers,

Daniel

Our relief was palpable and before we could even type a heartfelt thanks a bottle of The Classic Laddie was ordered and winging its way to our state of the art podcasting and tasting facility. One thing led to another and next thing we've got Bruichladdich's fantastic Carl Reavey (Head of Communications) on the phone telling us about the distillery's unique philosophy and how he used to mix sound for The Undertones. 

Our playlist theme for this episode was at Daniel's suggestion, songs by bands in a genre unusual to their regular stylings. Stu selected some acapella Geordie indie and Indian folk gatecrashed by Radiohead's lead guitarist while Andy nominated Kurt Cobain's fevered incursion on the MTV unplugged studio and an album of children's songs from members of The Walkmen and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

The tracks that feature on the podcast, in full, are:

Andy’s 1st selection: Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night
Stu’s 1st selection: The Futureheads - Beeswing

Andy’s 2nd selection: Walter Martin (feat. Karen O) - Sing To Me
Stu’s 2nd selection: Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and The Rajasthan Express - Allah Elohim

For the playlist, we Nils is far from keen, Sufjan is spitting rhymes, Eric's got a bad case of the upstrokes, Aphex has gone all twee and a Bono's trapped in a giant lemon.  I'm considerably more proud of that sentence than I have any right to be...Have a listen to the full podcast here:

Don't forget to follow us on twitter, subscribe to the podcast on your trusty podable devices and even leave a tasty 5-star review, which helps us get new listeners and ultimately defeat the forces of evil. Why not also follow our mate Down Under @danhoper for so gallantly bailing us out for the episode theme.

You can catch Andy and Stu at the Whisky Lounge York Whisky Festival at York Racecourse on Saturday 21st October (afternoon session). This is your chance to say hi, tell us where we're going right/wrong and if you like, appear on the podcast. We will have our microphones!

S3E5 - Aberlour A'bunadh (batch 57)

"It's an absolute sherry bomb. We have to podcast it!", said Stu.
"Yeah cool.", replied Andy

Such is the level of planning and forethought that goes into producing each episode of The Is My Dram. Still, Stu was on the money with Aberlour A'bunadh Batch 57, a cask-strength corker crafted from largely sherry-cask finish, ranging from what is estimated to be between 5 and 25 year old, whiskies. Andy and Stu were in full agreement about the quality attributes of this particular batch; the nose is sweet and comforting, the palate is warm and comforting, the finish is sweet, warm and comforting. Never mind message in a bottle, this is a full-scale embrace with a thoughtful love poem and gift certificate for a spa weekend in a bottle. It's increasingly difficult to source a bottle of Batch 57 and the general consensus seems to be that current release, Batch 58, is less impressive so don't spare the horses if you want to try this one.

Our playlist theme for this episode was first singles released by bands or artists, taking our cue from Aberlour's "origin" theme with A'bunadh. Stu selected some rock-out nostalgia from his formative years to perfectly compliment the shoulder massage in a glass we were sipping on while Andy explored the origin theme with a near-tedious history lesson on the pioneers of jazz and blues. No prizes for guessing which of our presenters you'd rather be cornered by at a party...

The tracks that feature on the podcast, in full, are:

Stu’s 1st selection: Eels - Novocaine For The Soui
Andy’s 1st selection: King Oliver's Creole Band - Chimes Blues

Stu’s 2nd selection: Weezer - Undone (The Sweater Song)
Andy’s 2nd selection: Muddy Waters - Country Blues (No.1)

For the playlist, we had some more 90s throwback indie and grunge as well as infectious beats, blues organ and Feist-y vocals. Have a listen to the full podcast here:

Don't forget to follow us on twitter, subscribe to the podcast on your trusty podable devices and even leave a tasty 5-star review, which helps us get new listeners and most importantly tends to our fragile egos. Keep your eyes peeled for a special bonus pod in the next few days, delaying the sad end of another series (don't worry, it'll just be like a 3 week break or something) of This Is My Dram. 

S2E4 - That Boutique-y Whisky Podcast (Blended Whisky #1 35 yr)

In a market that is crowded with unique characters and eye-catching bottlings, That Boutique-y Whisky Company‘s range still manages to stand out with rare and old sources and illustrated labels by artist, Emily Chappell.  We have obtained quite a few Boutique-y expressions to try in recent months but for this podcast, we zeroed in on Blended Whisky #1 35 Year.

We both agreed this whisky had perhaps the finest nose we had ever encountered, an intriguing and complex palette and an agreeable finish, like dinner guests who realise at just the right time when to pick up their things and call a cab.  

The podcast also features some exclusive, on location and mostly uninterrupted footage from The Whisky Lounge‘s Newcastle Whisky Festival 2017, where the team were joined by avid whisky fan and all-round good company, Sean and tried a dozen or so whiskies between them, some of which will feature in future episodes.

We were delighted to have some input into this episode from Dave WorthingtonEvents & Marketing Ambassador at That Boutique-y Whisky Company, who told us about his busy time at the festival.

“I hardly had a moment to spare throughout the show, I was on my own for all three sessions, so wasn’t able to have a run around the exhibitors looking for a highlight dram. I did manage to squeeze in a couple of Whisky Discoveries before and during the interval; a rather tasty Irish Whiskey from The Dublin Liberties with their 10 Year Old Copper Alley, the latest Talisker Distillers Edition, The Spey 18 Year Old, and starting the day with Springbank Local Barley 16 Year Old is the breakfast of champions.”

For the playlist, in honour of the Boutique-y bottle labels a challenge of “songs from albums with great artwork” was laid down. Another broad and wide-ranging theme delivered some of the best of punk, jazz, electronica and two guitar classics from guest Sean (Santana – Samba Pa Ti) and Boutique-y Dave (Led Zepellin – Kashmir). 

Our chosen labels

Our chosen labels

Our conversation with Dave from That Boutique-y Whisky Company continues…

TIMD: Which is your favourite whisky of the ones TBWC have released?
Dave: Another difficult question! There’s a whisky for every situation and time of the day, so at any one time, my favourite will change! We’ve had some cracking releases from Ben Nevis last year, Batch 3, 4 and 5 were all diamonds in my book with Batch 5 topping this list for me. The single grain releases have been great too, Girvan, Carsebridge, Cambus, North British and of course some gorgeous Invergordons. My current favourites are the Macduff 11 Year Old and the Glentauchers 17, they were hugely popular at Newcastle too.

TIMD: And which is your favourite bottle label?
Dave: The labels are ace aren’t they? Emily Chappell does an incredible job of deciphering the often cryptic design briefs we send her! The Dailuaine label amuses me the most, good sulphur/bad sulphur molecules turned into teddy bears! Oh and just what is going on with the zombie apocalypse on the Auchroisk label?

TIMD: You mentioned at the festival that there may be some new blends on the way from TBWC… can you tell us any more?
Dave: Yes, we’ve got lots of new stuff going on back at HQ, lots of exciting new things. All of our blended whiskies are small batches, so of course there’ll be new batches required to replace the dwindling stocks of the current releases. There’ll be a few new labels to look out for too.

TIMD: Also, we’ve noticed you branching out into other countries recently (Irish, Indian, Bourbon…)  Are there any plans to expand your range to include any others soon? Maybe Japanese *Stu crosses fingers*?
Dave: We’re always looking for opportunities to bottle exciting whisky, wherever it is made, and we’re working hard trying to find it! Keep those fingers well and truly crossed, and perhaps one day, your dreams will come true!

S2E3 - Benromach 10 (100 Proof)

So it’s taken us until half way through the second series (that’s over 9 hours of edited audio out there already, folks) to finally get round to reviewing a single malt from Scotland’s most famous and populous distillery region – Speyside. Hey, we’re independently minded guys, just like the company behind this episode’s dram, Gordon & MacPhail. Founded in 1895 by James Gordon and John Alexander MacPhail with a shop located on South Street, Elgin the firm began to specialise in bottling single malts in the early 20th Century, and in an age when few distilleries were bottling singles, may have held the largest range in of single malt whiskies in the world in the post-war years. After almost a hundred years of bottling, the company bought Benromach Distillery in 1993 which opened in 1998. As fans of both whisky and music, we couldn’t resist a nice indie label…

The cask strength whisky is 57% ABV (100 Proof in old money) and impressed us with its rich, sweet nose, spiced fruit palette and oaky, smoky finish. A drop of water revealed another layer of complexity. 

For the playlist, we gave ourselves the seemingly narrow parameters of UK independent record labels before realising, to quote Stu, “practically all the music I own was released by UK independent record labels.” As a result, we were essentially free to select some of our favourite tracks in general, adding to the thoroughly pleasant experience of drinking the Benromach. Music released on Rough Trade, Creation, Mute, XL, 4AD and Ninja Tune sprung forth from the tasting room speakers. 

Also on the podcast, the exciting conclusion of the battle for Dramier League Table jingle in Jingle Wars, as well as the new feature The Relegation Zone. The idea for this feature came about when we realised we hadn’t reviewed a whisky we hadn’t rated so far and this was skewing the table towards a narrow field of high achievers.

To give a bit more context to the title contenders, the pair resolved to tackle a truly disagreeable dram and it’s fair to say their reaction provides a little more than just context…