Whisky, we all love it but just how is it made?

IN: HOW TOPRODUCERS

It’s amazing to think that such a diverse and exciting drink could have so many different tones and flavours when it’s made from just three ingredients but that is one of the wonders of single malt whisky. Barley. Water. Yeast. Can you think of three more basic ingredients that produce such an incredibly complex finished product? Single malt whisky, or scotch to our American friends, really is quite amazing. Of course, the ingredients are vital; without them we have nothing, but there are other components in the great art of producing a fine single malt whisky – time and skill. Without those, a whisky can never be truly great and only the best distillers – using time to their advantage – can make the whisky we will always remember. There are five defined moments in the making of a single malt and, although there are subtle differences in the way each distillery does this, it’s a process that must be...
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REVEALED: The secret single malt whiskies you must try

IN: HOW TOPRODUCERS

Think you know all there is to know about Scotland’s best distilleries? Think again! You may be surprised to find out just how many there are that you have never even heard of. There’s a whole land of distillers producing incredible whiskies out there in the mountains, glens and hills of Scotland and now, for the first time, we at Lockett Bros can reveal these special single malt whiskies. We’ve chosen seven of, what we think are, the single malts that you might not have heard of in your whisky adventures, but that will blow your proverbial socks off. So, strap yourself in for a tour of the secret single malt whiskies… Kilchoman This is quite possibly the best wee distillery in the world and one of only a handful of distillers that still practices floor malting (more on that in a later blog). Kilchoman is an Islay-based farm distillery, which was established in 2005, making it the first to...
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Five winter wines that are just perfect for cosy nights in

IN: HOW TOPRODUCERS

Heating on full blast – check. Your favourite winter sweater on – check. Lots of winter warming comfort food bubbling away in the kitchen – check. A selection of wines to make you glad it’s winter? Hmmm, that’s something that requires more thought. There’s really nothing quite like enjoying a large glass of full-bodied loveliness in front of the fire in the shape of your favourite wine over the winter months but with such a vast choice, how can you make the right one? There are so many quality wines to enjoy over winter that we would suggest you might be hard pushed to find one you don’t enjoy but, that said, there are wines that simply must be savoured over the chilly months. For this time of year, it really is all about weight and texture. We simply cannot imagine sitting down to a light and crisp wine when it’s cold and windy outside. You want something much more...
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The most expensive whiskies ever sold and why they are great for distillers

IN: PRODUCERS

Most of us don’t mind paying a little extra for something special when it comes to our favourite whisky tipple but could you imagine shelling out more than a million pounds for a nice bottle? No. Neither could we. But somebody did. In fact, over recent years there have been a number of mouth-watering whiskies that have sold for eye-watering prices. It might seem something verging on lunacy to spend more than a million pounds on a drink but these particular drinks are very, very special and very, very exclusive. The PR opportunities which present themselves for the distilleries selling these pricey drops are too good to miss and the cynical amongst us would suggest that this is the main driver behind such an exercise. There’s also a bit of ‘we can, so we will’ when it comes to producing a whisky that is so exclusive, only the super rich can hope to enjoy it. In fact, some of the...
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Speyside: The powerhouse of single malt whisky

IN: PRODUCERS

Talking about Scotch whisky without mentioning Speyside would be like talking about Manchester United without mentioning Sir Alex Ferguson. It is, without doubt, a whisky superpower. More than half of Scotland’s working distilleries are located in this relatively small corner of the Highlands and at last count that number was around 84. Some of the best-selling and most-awarded whiskies in the world are produced in Speyside including Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and The Macallan. But what makes Speyside whisky so good? Speyside whisky characteristics are very distinct and it could be argued that the qualities they possess make them more appealing to more sensitive palates. In a previous blog we talked about the peaty big hitters of the Isle of Islay. Well, Speyside would come in at the other end of that scale. Some single malt lovers who are big fans of the big, heavy peat and smoky numbers of Islay, might not be huge fans of Speyside whisky as it tends to...
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The rise and rise of craft gin

IN: PRODUCERS

  There’s a revolution going on in spirits right now but you might have missed it. Gin is in. But not just any gin. Craft gin. The spirit is enjoying an incredible resurgence and, as if from nowhere, it has usurped vodka as the drink of choice for a whole new generation. The juniper-based drink has never been so popular and a recent survey of London-based bartenders revealed that more than half of them regard premium gin as the most important spirit on their shelves. It’s trendy and for a younger generation of drinkers, it’s absolutely the only drink to ask for at your favourite bar. Of course, much like craft beer, good craft gins are not always easy to find and big distillers are already trying to muscle in on the revolution with their own “craft” offerings. The discerning craft gin drinker has to be wary of the mass-produced imitations, a problem that faces craft beer connoisseurs. One Scottish...
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Old World v New World wines

IN: PRODUCERS

What do you know about New World wines and Old World wines? Did you even realise that these were wine categories? The chances are, you’ve heard the terms New World and Old World when people talk about wines, no matter how elementary your wine knowledge is. But what does it actually mean? Should we care whether a wine is classed as New World or Old World and does it actually make any difference to what’s in the bottle? Those are all important questions and we’ll answer them in this blog. The categories are clearly defined and, as one would expect, are based in geography. New world wines, as you would expect, come from countries where wine production isn’t quite as engrained in the history as it would be in a Mediterranean nation, for example. These wines are now so popular and well-respected across the globe that you would be hard-pushed to find a wine drinker who does not appreciate one or two...
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James King

IN: PRODUCERS

James King – Chateau Unang Château Unang lies among the foothills of Mont Ventoux, in the heart of Provence. The estate dates from the 9th century and produces exceptional wines from 20 hectares of vines, most of which are more than 30 years old.

Steve Muir

IN: PRODUCERS

Steve Muir – NB GIn It was once described as mother’s ruin, but gin is back and turning into the country’s most sophisticated spirit. How fitting, therefore, that husband and wife team Steve and Viv Muir have fulfilled a long-held ambition by setting up a gin micro-distillery (NB Distillery Ltd) in their home town of North Berwick and launching their very own brand of handcrafted premium gin.

James Milton

IN: PRODUCERS

James Millton – Milton Vineyards & Winery James and Annie Millton established their Millton Vineyards and Winery in 1984. It is a family owned and operated wine estate established situated in the wine appellation of Gisborne on the eastern corner of the North Island of, New Zealand. There are four separate dry farmed vineyards spread over 30 hectares. The use of herbicide, insecticide, systemic fungicide and soluble fertilisers is forbidden, and the ancient principles surrounding Biodynamic activity has been practised since the beginning. This involves strict adherence to the rhythms of nature; the earth, sun and moon and beyond… It was a real treat for us to have a visit from James in 2012. A real character, the kind that I could talk to for hours. So much knowledge and experience and passion that make his wines so easy to sell.