Whisky and cigars in Shackleton’s Edinburgh home

shackleton-home-eventThe secret of a good tasting is that air of enchantment, the stories, the quirks, and the provenance.
I can’t think of a better location than Channings Hotel, the former Edinburgh home of Sir Ernest Shackleton for a tasting that includes Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt, the whisky painstakingly recreated from samples of the bottles the explorer abandoned in the Antarctic, frozen in the ice for nearly 100 years.

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The Dalmore Rivers Collection (4/4): Tweed Dram

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The final leg of The Dalmore Rivers tour takes me to the Tweed. It’s a warm peachy colour (the whisky, not the river) and the now familiar oily looking texture. The Tweed is an up-front dram, and like the others in the series, delivering loads of flavours that come at you in waves rather than a big lump that unfolds, so you see a progression in the glass as you take your time with it.

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The Dalmore Rivers Collection (3/4): Tay Dram

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The third leg of my delightful river trip is the Tay.This is an instant sipper. It doesn’t need time to breathe or open-up before you get into it. That being said, it’s got good length, and like all whiskies, it deteriorates in the glass, but does so very slowly.

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The Dalmore Rivers Collection (2/4): Spey Dram

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So, now I’m heading north-west from the Dee to the Spey, the second of The Dalmore Rivers on my Highland excursion – from the safety and warmth of my living room. With this one, I just had to jump right in, so to speak. It pays to really take your time with this one. It takes a while for it to fully open up, but when it does, it gives you a lot to play with.

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The Dalmore Rivers Collection (1/4): Dee Dram

dalmore-dee-dram-1This whisky was launched last year to help raise funds to protect one of Scotland’s most important salmon rivers. It sold out in nine weeks raising more than £35,000 which will help to open 25 miles of river and spawning ground which have been blocked for nearly 100 years.

The Rivers Collection (Dee, Spey, Tay and Tweed) hopes to raise around £400,000 a year to help protect the rivers and the plant and animal life they support. The first of the four to review is the Dee, so, what’s it like?

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A stag and the king of the castle

The Dalmore Castle Leod

Highland distillery The Dalmore has launched a brand new whisky to help raise funds for the repair of a castle near Inverness.
Castle Leod, the spiritual home of the Clan Mackenzie, has stood for more than 400 years but is now in desperate need of repairs to the upper floors and the roof. Built in 1606, it is one of just a handful which is still occupied by descendants of the original owners.

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