A sherry cask release from the Kingsbarns distillery in the Scottish lowlands.
This was matured in American oak ex-oloroso sherry butts, creating a mix of the spicy, fruity sherry influence and the vanilla sweetness of American oak. The distillery uses local Fife-grown barley and this is bottled at 46% with no added colour or chill filtration.
Oak Barrel Tasting Notes:
"The sherry casks have had a lot to say, the nose shows treacle and jersey caramel with vanilla (coming from the American oak presumably) and the faintest touch of dank earth with charred fruit. An alluring and inviting nose. Berry sweetness on the palate with a very mild spice. Syrupy on the finish with a hint of bitterness."
The Kingsbarns distillery was the brainchild of local golf caddy Doug Clement who drafted plans in 2008. Having received a grant from the Scottish government, in 2014 the Wemyss family, who are noted whisky bottlers, came on board as backers and new owners. Located near St Andrews, the distillery was built around 18th century fam buildings which were modernised into a distillery.
The distillery employs a slow distillation and quite an early spirit cut to create a bright, fruity new make spirit that goes into a range of casks. The first release was in 2018.
Following our First Impressions video of the Dream To Dram and Balcomie expressions (which you can watch below) Peter Bignell of Tasmania's Belgrove distillery got in touch to explain a very particular Tasmanian connection to the distillery.
"'Dream To Dram' is the motto of Scotsman [and Kingsbarns founder] Doug Clement, friend of Greg Ramsay [Tasmanian-based owner of NZ Whisky Collection], they met when Greg was working in a bar at St Andrews and Doug was a pro golf caddy.
"Doug visited Nant Distillery soon after it opened. Went back to Scotland as a golf caddy and decided to open a distillery because golfers so often asked where was a nearby distillery to visit, there weren’t any. In 2009 Bill Lyn and Jack Lark, Tim and Irene Duckett [Heartwood], Greg Ramsay and I (plus partners and hangers on) went to Scotland to help Doug promote his dream. I returned in 2010 to help promote by hijacking TV cameras at The British Open at St Andrews by creating golf and whisky sand sculptures on the beach next to the golf.
"Doug finally got his investors and built the distillery in re-furbished farm outbuildings on Cambo Estate near St Andrews. In 2015 the British Open returned to St Andrews so I went back to do more sand sculptures to advertise the distillery was now open to visitors.
"That early tour with Lark etc. also visited a site on Sky to help generate interest in building a distillery in old farm buildings. We had no further involvement but those buildings are now Torabhaig Distillery."
Thanks to Peter for the insight and piece of Scottish-Tasmanian whisky love.
- Single Malt